US: Ohio sex worker with HIV, whose case inspired an HIV-specific sex work law in 1996, arrested again


Vicki West, HIV-positive prostitute, arrested again

December 14, 2013
Source: Daytondailynews

A sex worker whose HIV-positive status prompted the Vicki West Law in Ohio, was arrested Friday night, the last in a long series of arrests since the 1980s. Vickie L. West, 54, was arrested after allegedly offering sex for money on North Main Street to an undercover detective, according to a release from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

West recently finished serving a four-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2008 of soliciting and loitering to engage in soliciting after a positive HIV test, according to Montgomery County court records. In 1993, West was featured in a series in the Dayton Daily News that exposed the lives and realities of prostitutes who are HIV-positive. The coverage prompted state lawmakers to make soliciting a felony for prostitutes who are HIV-positive. The law took effect in 1996 and is familiarly known as the “Vicki West Law.”

She’s been arrested more than four dozen times since 1984, including several incidents of prostitution-related crimes since the law went into effect, according to the release. West is being held in the Montgomery County Jail and potential charges are expected to be reviewed by the prosecutor’s office.