South Korea: Court refuses arrest warrant for teenage sex worker alleged to have exposed 20 men without disclosure

Edwin J Bernard - October 31, 2010

A 19 year-old female sex worker from the southern port of Busan was picked up by South Korean police last week after her father alleged she had unprotected sex with up to 20 male clients since testing HIV-positive in February.

However, according to an AFP report in The Straits Times

the court in Busan rejected a request from police to issue an arrest warrant for the woman, saying she should instead be sent to hospital for treatment.

A second report, from Asiaone.com notes that the young woman

reportedly said she suggested using contraceptives but her male partners refused to do so.

Of note, South Korea has no HIV-specific criminal laws.

In 2009 a 26-year-old HIV-positive man became the first person prosecuted under the country’s public health laws for having unprotected sex without first disclosing his HIV status. The man reportedly had sex with at least ten women. He received an 18-month prison sentence. The case occasioned calls for tougher laws for such conduct.