COUNTRY REPORT OF DENMARK
PROSTITUTION AND ITS CONTEXT IN DENMARK
Extent, organisation and legal issues
Reliable estimates of the number of prostitutes in Denmark do not exist. But one
estimate from 1990 calculates that 1500 prostitutes were active nationally each day. Most
of these worked in massage parlours (700) or bars (600), while 150 - primarily drug using
prostitutes - worked on the streets. Another 125 worked as escort prostitutes. These
numbers only count women who offer services to men during the course of one day and the
total number of prostitutes is therefore much higher.
The picture changes if the extent of prostitution is measured by the number of
client-prostitute contacts. The primary role of massage parlours then becomes obvious: 70%
of all contacts take place there. Fifteen percent of all customers have contact with
street prostitutes, another 12% with bar prostitutes and 3% with escort girls.
There have been no major changes in this picture during the last four years though
non-Danish prostitutes now comprise a larger part of the prostitutes in massage parlours
than before. One way of monitoring changes in the prostitute population is to follow the
changes in the adverts offering sexual service which are published in the daily newspaper,
The ethnic make-up of the prostitutes has changed slightly during the last 14 months
according to the advertisements. The percentage of adverts that mention Thai women,
'black'/'brown' women and other immigrants rose from 8-10 % to 13-15 % of the total. None
of these indicate that they come from the former Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. A few
prostitutes (less than 1 % of all advertisements) claim to come from other EU countries.
Another change was noticed during the project period. The mobile telephone became
increasingly popular, first within escort bureaux, but lately also among massage parlours.
Mobile phones provide an effective guarantee against identification of the people involved
in the business, especially for escort activity where the prostitute visits the customer.
Also the escort bureau itself becomes mobile; the bureau is to be found wherever the
manager is located at any particular time. The introduction of mobile phones then is the
latest stage of a long process of withdrawal of the prostitute from public view in a known
geographical area /street to an indoor location.
Danish prostitutes do not travel across the country's border to work, while inside
Denmark the experience of working in different parts of the country varies. Copenhagen
prostitutes have seldom worked in other parts of Denmark, except for escort girls who
might cover most parts of Zealand (Sjælland). But in Jutland (Jylland) and Funen (Fyn)
prostitutes usually have worked in cities other than their home city. Women in Jutland
especially travel a lot to other cities in the region, partly because many cities are too
small to provide anonymity vis-a-vis the clients, partly because prostitutes who are 'new'
to a small area attract more customers.
Numbers for male prostitutes in Denmark are not available. Researchers and service
providers have been in contact with 30 male prostitutes who have male clients in Aarhus
and with more than 100 in Copenhagen. A recent round table discussion between the police,
social workers in contact with the prostitution milieu, and the social counsellors for
parents and children in crisis, concluded that there is no child prostitution involving
children below the age of consent (15 years) in Denmark.
The flow of teenagers into street prostitution is rather limited, especially for teenagers
under 18. The owners of bars and massage parlours are generally very careful not to let in
persons younger than 21 years, as this is illegal and might give the police an opportunity
to intervene. Thus, most prostitutes start work after they reach 20 in massage parlours or
bars. A relatively small group start at a younger age and do so on the streets.
Pimping (in the sense of a man who in one way or another forces a person to take
customers and hand over the money to him) is extremely rare in Denmark. The absence of a
large group of very young girls (Lolitas) partly explains this lack of pimps. Another
reason is that sexual transactions as such are legal and the police do not conduct raids
among prostitutes who work indoors. Finally, the very liberal advertising policy in the
sex industry enables individual prostitutes to advertise in newspapers or magazines
without fearing economic reprisals. (In reality, they do commit social security fraud if
they are also claiming welfare but the authorities do not track them down). It is not
illegal in Denmark to provide sexual services for money or goods as long as this sex work
is not the main source of income for the prostitute. The police otherwise might arrest the
person on charges of vagrancy. This is one good reason for a prostitute to be claiming
social welfare. Aside from this, prostitution is not as lucrative as it might have been
earlier. Prices for sexual services have been stable during the last decade while, for
instance, advertising fees and expenses have increased just as have living expenses in
general. Many prostitutes therefore also claim benefits because they need the money and
they avoid giving any information about their prostitution to the social worker.
The extent of procuring is more difficult to assess. Most bars and massage parlours are
owned by one or a few persons who organize the work, procure the women and take a larger
or smaller part of their earnings. A small part of the growing number of prostitutes from
the Third World have entered Danish bars and massage parlours through business channels.
For instance, this is the case for some of the Thai women in Aarhus. It is likely to have
happened in other major cities too, but no evidence is available at present. Aside from
this, it is a matter of definition whether one would judge some of the massage parlour
owners to be procurers. Unless the prostitute owns the massage parlour herself/himself (or
together with a few colleagues), the user must pay a fee to the owner for each day's work.
This fee varies greatly, ranging from 300 kr to 1400 kr (40-185 ECU) or even more. An
amount at the upper end of the scale covers more than the expenses of the owner. In
comparison, the price for 'Danish' intercourse (vaginal intercourse) ranges from 300 kr to
400 kr (40-50 ECU) among those working in massage parlours in Copenhagen. Other
intermediaries also claim part of the money earned by the prostitutes, notably the
newspapers which are used by almost all massage parlours and escort prostitutes in Denmark
to advertise their services.
Brothels are not allowed in Denmark, and neither is pimping or procuring. But except
for routine visa checks on immigrant prostitutes the police has not initiated
investigations into possible cases of procuring over the last decade. One bar owner was
prosecuted a few years ago and cases against massage parlour owners occasionally arise.
The police only intervene if a complaint has been received; if they encounter a prostitute
below the age of sexual consent; if they find women younger than 21 years at the bars or
massage parlours; or, if they discover an immigrant prostitute who has no valid permit to
stay in Denmark.
To sum up: at least 5.000 sexual transactions involving female prostitutes take place
in Denmark every 24 hours, corresponding to 1.5 million transactions per year (+/- 0.3
million; activity level decreases during weekends and holidays). This results in a total
payment far in excess of 525 million kr (70 million ECU; this amount is arrived at by
multiplying the mean price for 'Danish' intercourse by the number of transactions). Most
clients have contact with massage girls, some of whom are 'imported' from the Third World,
especially Thailand, but quite a few 'black'/'brown' women work in the massage parlours,
too. Most of these stem from Africa and they are apparently not controlled by a third
party. The organization of prostitution in Denmark differs from many EU countries in its
lack of pimps, a situation partly caused by the restructuring of prostitution that began
back in 1973 after the prohibition on 'immoral' advertising was repealed.
Social and medical services available to prostitutes
Prostitutes enjoy the same welfare rights as all other residents. However, non-resident
prostitutes have no welfare rights. Those who are entitled to welfare have access to
unemployment benefits, education, health care etc, as long as this is unconnected to their
sex work. If prostitutes, however, wish to join an unemployment insurance fund, they will
not be allowed to if they reveal that they are also prostitutes. Neither is any insurance
company willing to insure massage parlours. When a prostitute applies for benefits at
her/his local social service department s/he runs the risk of being accused of fraud. In
line with this, a prostitute does not discuss her/his experiences with the social worker.
Prostitution thus acts as barrier - effective if invisible - to receiving help to solve
prostitution-related social problems. This counts as true for non-prostitution related
problems as well. This issue is further discussed in connection with the outreach project
in Aarhus. All medical services are free of charge to Danish residents. (An insignificant
number of private clinics provide treatment of special diseases; but treatment for these
diseases is also available within the public health system). Consultation and treatment of
STDs or HIV is provided by the 'family doctor' or by one of the 10 venereal clinics in the
country. The patient is free to choose which one to go to. HIV tests - but not STD
examinations - can be made anonymously. If a patient is found HIV seropositive and wishes
to receive treatment, he/she has to give up their anonymity.
The AIDS epidemic and HIV prevention in Denmark
It is very important to assess the need for prostitution-related HIV prevention. Only
then can steps be taken to evaluate existing efforts at prevention and whether to initiate
new interventions. Three aspects are discussed below:
- what is the level of HIV transmission among prostitutes so far?
- what is the rate of HIV seropositivity among clients and prostitutes?
- does client-prostitute sex lead to HIV transmission? In particular, are condoms used?
As in other European and North American countries, the AIDS epidemic in Denmark
originated in the homosexual population and then spread to the IVDUs. Sex between men
continues to be the main way the infection is transmitted. Of the heterosexuals who are
infected, the number of women surpassed the number of men in 1994, but almost half of
these women were immigrants. A total of 1446 people with newly diagnosed HIV infection
were reported between August 1990 and December 1994. Of these 322 were women. Seventeen
(7%) of the male heterosexuals with HIV reported sex with a prostitute as the way they
were infected with HIV.
As compared to the much higher numbers of men who acquired the virus from prostitutes
in some other countries, 17 men over a period of 4 years does not appear to be many. In
addition, it is unlikely that all of them acquired the virus from female prostitutes in
Denmark. Some may have provided misleading responses (concealing their homosexual
activities), others may have acquired HIV during tourist travel (Thailand has been a
popular location for vacations for some years). But information on these issues is not
available. It is possible to approach the question of HIV transmission via prostitutes in
two ways. First, the fear that prostitutes might function as 'vectors' for disease
transmission seems to prevail in most epidemiological studies. In the Third World this has
often led to the scapegoating of prostitutes. But there has been no tendency at all in
Denmark to stigmatize prostitutes in connection with the HIV epidemic.
A second, more balanced, approach would be to investigate the interaction between
prostitutes and their clients, as well as seroprevalence in both groups. As will be
apparent below, with one exception no data exists for clients in Denmark. There are two
key questions to be asked in assessing HIV transmission through prostitution. Firstly, is
one of the partners already infected? Secondly, do they use a condom? The rate of condom
use is difficult to assess. To begin with, he/she may claim condom use just to please the
interviewer (or to avoid being reprimanded). Moreover, to admit to using condoms is to
break a professional ethic, a directly punishable act among some groups of prostitutes.
Self-reported condom use therefore should always be treated with some scepticism.
According to behavioural data, Danish prostitutes who work in bars or in massage parlours
use condoms consistently with their clients. But many express uncertainty as to the risk
of transmission through certain sexual practices. Condoms also frequently break and the
response is not always appropriate. Use of and/or the attitude towards condoms has changed
radically among prostitutes since the late 1980s when a minority still claimed to not
always use condoms with clients. The clients also seem to have learned to accept condoms
as part of the trade though middle aged men and the clients of street prostitutes may
still occasionally ask for sex without a condom (according to the EUROPAP investigations).
Very little is known about the behaviour of escort girls because they are very
difficult to get access to; the manager in most cases obstruct all contacts between the
girls and field organizations. The interviews by EUROPAP suggest that a few of the escort
bureaux might persuade a girl to allow a client not to use a condom if he insists. Some of
the young escort prostitutes are also rather inexperienced and simply forget to bring a
condom to work. Those who are a little older are more consistent in their condom use. The
nature of the relationship between street prostitutes and their clients increases the risk
of these women of acquiring HIV and STDs. They also experience more violence. The issue is
further discussed in connection with the description of Reden. In-depth interviews with
male prostitutes make it reasonable to assume that condoms are usually - but not always -
used by male prostitutes. But a concrete assessment of the sexual practices of male
prostitutes and their clients does not exist. Available information on the contact between
Danish clients and immigrant prostitutes is insufficient. Condom use increased in the Thai
massage parlours in Aarhus after the local authority started an outreach program.
According to the prostitutes in some of the Thai parlours in Copenhagen who are in contact
with the outreach workers condoms are available at these places and are used with the
Epidemiological data is fragmentary. In Copenhagen, none of the 213 female prostitutes
tested in 1990/91 were HIV positive nor were the 160 tested during 1993/94. But it is
noteworthy that the prostitutes tested in 1990/91 had a much higher level of self-reported
STDs for the preceding 6 months than the population in general, even higher than among
clinic attenders at the STD clinic in charge of the investigation. Approximately 40 street
prostitutes (all intravenous drug users) participated in an HIV test project in the autumn
of 1994 but the results are not yet available. All three investigations and HIV test
groups were a result of outreach projects. In Aarhus, none of the 53 female prostitutes
tested between 1988 and 1990 was HIV seropositive (test group membership was based on
clinic attendance and outreach). Non-Danish clinic attenders in Aarhus were HIV tested in
the autumn of 1994; 1 out of 32 was HIV seropositive. In addition, the level of STDs was
Sero-epidemiological data on immigrant prostitutes does not exist. Neither does data on
Danish male prostitutes. In a recent (unpublished) study the presence of HIV has been
measured in semen. This technique makes it possible to measure the HIV status of a man by
investigation of his semen. Thus, semen collected from approximately 325 clients at
massage parlours in Copenhagen January 1994 all failed to reveal HIV among the men. The
semen specimens also will be tested for hepatitits B antibodies in the near future. No
other data on the level of HIV among clients exists for Denmark.
In conclusion: though the level of STDs are higher among prostitutes than in the
population in general, the transmission of HIV from clients to prostitutes and vice versa
seems to be rare in Denmark. This is partly due to a low prevalence of HIV among
prostitutes and clients (at least those clients who frequent massage parlours), partly
because condoms are used quite regularly. But among some prostitute groups condoms are not
used consistently and these groups of clients and prostitutes might include HIV
seropositive individuals. Thus, there is a need to provide programmes to prevent HIV
transmission among prostitutes and their clients but their content and methods need to be
appropriate to the target groups in question. At present, too little is known about the
sexual practices and levels of HIV seropositivity among immigrant prostitute women and
male prostitutes. Further, we know almost nothing about the clients of all types of
prostitutes. The AIDS secretariat at The Ministry of Health has co-ordinated and initiated
HIV prevention programmes for a decade. Initially, the focus was on non-stigmatizing
national campaigns. But as early as 1987 efforts were made to stimulate local initiatives.
'Key persons' from all over the country and from various public sectors were educated by
the Health Department in collaboration with the counties. From 1990 onwards the strategy
of the Department has been to stimulate central-local (CEN/LOK) preventive activities,
public as well as private, and to co-ordinate these with the national AIDS campaigns. Most
counties today have an AIDS consultant. Several target groups are mentioned within the
CEN/LOK strategy, among them prostitutes. None of the national campaigns have dealt
explicitly with HIV transmission in prostitution but several of the AIDS consultants in
the counties have taken the initiative to send pamphlets and condoms to prostitutes in
their county. A few do so periodically but most have sent materials only once. Response
from the prostitutes have been sparse or nonexistent and the effect of this distribution
of information is unknown.
Other AIDS preventive initiatives are decentralised. For instance, most counties have
some arrangement enabling IVDUs to get access to clean needles. In Copenhagen,
distribution of needles free of charge began in 1986 and special needle-disposal outlets
were installed in the 'drugs area' of the city.
Existing service provision for prostitutes and the promotion of new initiatives
Projects aimed at the needs of prostitutes have mostly emerged within the last five
years. They have focused on HIV prevention or on social problems, often combining both
objectives. There is no doubt that some of these projects would not have emerged if money
had not been made available for AIDS prevention; part of the nationally available money
for AIDS goes towards prostitution projects. In the long-term AIDS prevention directed at
prostitutes should continue and be better developed. But there can also be little doubt
that the social problems faced by prostitutes are severe. Decent resources and planning
are needed to solve the social problems of prostitutes, either tackled on discretely or in
combination with general health prevention programmes.
The Social System and processes of decision making have been a focus of EUROPAP Denmark
because one of our main objectives has been to motivate local authorities to initiate
prostitution related projects in their city/community. Our approach has been to combine
medical and social issues in the program outline. Trends in Danish social policy are
described below. There have been drastic cuts in the Danish welfare system during the last
decade. The policy of the conservative/liberal government during the 1980s was to
increasingly leave the provision of social services to private initiative. This policy was
promoted through 'social development projects', financed by the government. The resulting
'project culture' has in fact developed a range of new approaches to social issues. Old
questions have been dealt with in a new manner and new issues - like counselling for
prostitutes - have been taken up. But there have been clearly negative consequences of
this approach. Among these is the imposition of a two to three time limit on any social
project. Also the tendency to leave some problems to 'free social enterprise' have left
some issues untouched. All of the projects described below have been effected by this.
They also have had to deal with frequent neglect or resistance from politicians and suffer
from a lack of private funds when it came to finding solutions to the prostitution related
social problems. Furthermore, in the wake of sexual liberation, prostitution is generally
not thought of as something problematic. Withdrawing prostitutes from public view after
1973 has also seen them disappear from the public mind; prostitution was acknowledged as a
private sexual matter for people and the authorities are expected not to intervene in the
private life of people.
These attitudes towards prostitution have had a major influence on the (lack of) social
research and intervention. Thus, little money has been released for scientific research on
prostitution for over 15 years. Legal aspects of prostitution have been debated several
times in Parliament during the last three decades but revision of the relevant legislation
(dating back to 1930) has not taken place. Neither has enough money been set aside to deal
with the problems during the last decade. But the situation seems to be changing now! The
Ministry of Social Affairs decided in January 1995 to make prostitution one of several
priority areas for funding and social development. There is a further aspect of social
policy in Denmark which has a major influence on projects and initiatives drawn up to
tackle the social and medical needs of prostitutes. Danish counties and local authorities
have a high degree of autonomy. They are free to decide local policies within the
framework of guidelines issued by the state - as long as local initiatives do not lead to
an increase in the level of tax. Responsibility for the provision of health services and
disease prevention lies with the counties while local authorities are the major social
service providers. In both cases, the major part of any expenses incurred are reimbursed
by the state as a result of annual negotiations. In recent years, a restructuring of work
tasks and models of co-operation has taken place in the administrative systems of counties
and local authorities. It has given rise to a very heterogeneous structure of local
decision making, types of public departments and patterns of client-social worker
interaction. In some instances, new models of collaboration between public and private
institutions have also emerged.
In conclusion: in the future money should be made available for those providing
services to prostitutes as well as for further needs assessment and targeted interventions
aimed at the prevention of HIV transmission through prostitution. It might be an advantage
for such initiatives to combine social and health elements. If so, they need to
participate in the process of social development.
PROJECTS AND SERVICES DEALING WITH HIV PREVENTION FOR PROSTITUTES
Review: prostitution related initiatives, 1985-1995
There have been very few services or projects dealing with HIV prevention for
prostitutes in Denmark during the last ten years. The few projects in existence mostly
have dealt with the social aspects of prostitution. After a major debate in Parliament in
March 1990 the DAPHNE centre was established for a period of 3 years. The centre's brief
was to investigate social problems surrounding prostitution and inform public and private
agencies about how they could prevent young people from entering prostitution. In addition
the centre was to formulate ways of preventing 'social damage' to active prostitutes and
find means to support those who wished to stop their sex work.
A service centre for male prostitutes, PAF (Prostitution af Fyre: prostitution of
gays), was established in 1991 with the main objective of supporting male prostitutes by
individual councelling and by outreach work in the respective milieus. In 1994, the HIV
prevention efforts of PAF were limited to a monthly social gathering in which an employee
from the gay and lesbian movement also participated.
The PRO-line (a national HOT-line for prostitutes) was started 1993. The main objective
of this telephone councelling service is to provide welfare support to female prostitutes.
Only two service providers in Copenhagen actually dealt with HIV prevention among
prostitutes. In Reden (The Nest) - a drop-in centre for drug using prostitutes - the main
objective was and remains to help the women get off drugs and stop prostitution. But the
staff also handed out condoms to the prostitutes and aimed to expand the safer sex
education they could offer by undertaking further training. Their HIV prevention
activities were therefore evaluated. The evaluation is summarised below. The other service
provider, RAP (Rådgivning af Prostituerede: prostitutes council prostitutes) has as its
main objective to councel prostitutes about HIV and AIDS. This project started February
1994 after preparation of the project in the 'prostitution and drug use' subgroup of WOMEN
AND AIDS. The co-ordinator followed RAP during the start-up phase but since the staff
needed to establish the content and method of work themselves they found it disruptive to
be part of an evaluation scheme at the same time. The co-ordinator therefore decided not
to evaluate RAP. However, the project is described below.
Initiatives aimed at the self organisation of prostitutes were taken in 1991. The
interest organisation, VI STÅR SAMMEN (Stick Together), has succeeded in editing a
bimonthly periodical for its members and it also runs a hot-line on any prostitution
related issue. But it has no systematic HIV/STD prevention programme.
Outside Copenhagen, only three initiatives have been taken to support female
prostitutes. No services exist for male prostitutes but preparation for a project has been
undertaken in one city. Aalborg was the first city to run a project, NATSVÆRMERNE (The
Moths). The project ran in 1990-91 and focused on social aspects of prostitution. The
municipality of Aarhus developed and implemented a project which combined social support
and health counselling for prostitutes. The project ran during 1992 and outreach work in
the risk groups continued after the project period as a part of the work of the social
services department. A recent investigation by FIP (Fyre i Prostitution: guys in
Prostitution) among male prostitutes in Aarhus points to the need to provide support for
male prostitutes also. But until now there has been little interest among officials in
establishing outreach work and councelling male prostitutes. Finally, a drop-in centre for
drug using female prostitutes was established in Odense in 1993 by KFUK. Its aims and
methods correspond to those of Reden in Copenhagen.
This section of the report thus first describes the activities of RAP in Copenhagen.
The HIV prevention outreach work in Aarhus municipality is also described at some length
as Aarhus is the only city in Denmark so far to have implemented outreach work aimed at
HIV prevention in collaboration with the STD clinic in the city. Next, the evaluation
process and its outcome in Reden in Copenhagen is summarised. Finally, the results of an
EUROPAP investigation on the social and medical needs of 'indoor' prostitutes in
Copenhagen are summarised. The focus is partly on the encounter between prostitutes and
the health sector, partly on the interest among the prostitutes for a centre which could
deal with health and social problems of individual prostitutes.
RAP (Prostitutes Council Prostitutes)
RAP started in February 1994 with the aim of contributing to the prevention of HIV and
STDs among female prostitutes in Denmark. This was achieved by a combination of outreach
work in the different milieus, telephone counselling and training prostitutes themselves
in peer support and counselling. To secure the start-up phase of RAP, money was found by
WOMEN AND AIDS to employ a former prostitute who was experienced and trained in HIV
counselling. RAP has been supported by the national AIDS secretariat and by the PUF-pulje
(a pool for support to self-help organisations and initiatives). A range of activities has
been carried out by RAP during its first year. A pamphlet on HIV/STDs and prostitution -
Safe sex: Avoid working hazards - was finished and translated into English and Thai. The
telephone line was opened for two hours each week and arrangements were made for five
prostitutes to take part in telephone counselling. Training in counselling those with or
who may have HIV/STDs was arranged. The attendance at training and phone counselling
sessions was expected to be unstable or low, as prostitutes do not like to lose their
anonymity, not even towards other prostitutes. They also lack sufficient spare time. At
the training sessions one of the five peer counsellors showed up. Moreover, they all
showed up regularly for their monthly day on 'duty'. Outreach work started in June 1994
with the project worker and a few prostitutes. Total anonymity was perceived as a
precondition for contact building between the project worker and the prostitutes. She was
well received at the massage parlours. Her former experience in the field enabled easy
access and almost all the prostitutes appreciated her visit. The pamphlet was received
with great interest. The Thai prostitutes especially appreciated the discussions on safer
sex. The employee also frequently phoned the parlours and counselled the women about
HIV/AIDS. But the prostitutes rarely called the hot-line. This was partly due to the lack
of problems with HIV, partly due to the method chosen to advertise the existence of the
hot-line. In order to secure anonymity, the hot-line was not advertised generally but
cards with information on RAP and the phone number were handed out whenever the project
worker visited the prostitutes. RAP also organised three evening gatherings on special
topics with invited lecturers. The themes chosen were: the legal rights of prostitutes;
keeping ones limits; spanking. Only two to five prostitutes attended the sessions. RAP has
therefore decided to suspend these gatherings and use the resources for outreach work. The
project worker visited bars and massage parlours which had Thai prostitutes throughout the
period and established good contact with some Thai women, especially in one bar and half
of the parlours with Thai prostitutes (8-10 parlours). The experience proved that contact
needs to be developed during a prolonged period. To help these women, RAP has organised
and secured money for teaching in Danish on the subjects of client negotiation and safe
sex. The last major area of RAP work has been the organisation of a weekend for drug using
prostitutes. The theme of the weekend was 'prostitution, violence and HIV' and besides
direct teaching a lot of effort was put into providing care and support for the women. The
major conclusion to be drawn from the first year's work by RAP is that getting in contact
with various parts of the target group takes time, especially due to the high degree of
discretion needed and the very few prostitutes involved in the work. As anticipated, the
attendance at activities and training sessions was low. Very few also took the initiative
to call the hot-line. But the outreach work aimed at both Danish and Thai prostitutes
seems to be successful. Thus, outreach work has been much more appropriate than
counselling by phone.
HIV Prevention Among Female Prostitutes in Aarhus: an Outreach Programme of the
Municipality of Aarhus
In 1991, DAPHNE and the Municipality of Aarhus assessed the intervention needs in three
areas of female prostitution in Aarhus:
- psycho-social counselling and treatment;
- special support to very young prostitutes who wish to leave the business;
- AIDS/HIV prevention by means of an outreach information campaign among prostitutes.
The local authority decided to start a project to deal with these issues. Staff were
selected and relocated among persons already employed by the departments of health and
social welfare. A small amount of money (25,000 D.Kr) (3,300 ECU) was donated by the local
authority's AIDS prevention fund. The AIDS prevention programme was developed and
implemented in 1992 by two social workers. They identified a profound lack of materials
dealing with the issue of 'safe sex for prostitutes' and therefore produced a video tape
on the issue. Outreach work took place over the following eight months. At the beginning
co-operation was initiated with the section of the social services department that
provides anonymous counselling for people experiencing a social crisis. Co-operation also
began with the STD clinic at Marselisborg Hospital. In accordance with the wishes of some
prostitutes, special opening hours at the clinic (4 hours a week) were introduced for
prostitutes and a psychologist was assigned to the clinic during these hours. The project
found that more than 125-150 prostitutes worked in massage parlours, 20-30 women worked
from one of the city bars, and an unknown number worked as street prostitutes (16 were
contacted during outreach work on the streets). Occasionally, prostitutes also worked from
inns and cafes, or they had clients referred to them by taxi drivers. Three of the massage
parlours were staffed by Thai or African women. Only 4 of the 16 street women were IVDUs.
Thus, the overwhelming majority of the prostitutes were Danish, not on drugs, and worked
in massage parlours. The project did not attempt to reach male prostitutes but the social
workers were told by people engaged in the 'Stop AIDS Campaign' of the Gay and Lesbian
Movement that more than 25 male prostitutes worked in the area. Eighty prostitutes were
counselled about HIV and STDs during the outreach period. With one exception the social
workers managed to reach all of the 27 massage parlours in the city. They were well
received by the prostitutes who showed great interest in the information provided about
HIV and 'safe sex', although they were already very knowledgeable. The prostitutes
reported a high rate of condom use with clients. However, condoms were not used with
private partners, and the women were uncertain about the risk of acquiring HIV or STDs
through oral sex or S.M. Also, they were not familiar with the appropriate response to
condom breakage. All contacts were offered the 'safe sex' video tape, pamphlets and free
condoms, and they were informed about the service for prostitutes at the hospital.
Psycho-social problems often came up during visits to the massage parlours, especially
where visits were repeated. The woman was then referred to the anonymous social
counselling service. But in most cases, the woman expressed distrust of the social system,
and the prostitutes seldom made use of this opportunity to get help. Two concrete factors
were identified as barriers in the way of their contact with the social security system.
First, the women were worried that their children might be taken away from them by the
authorities. Secondly, as most prostitutes received some kind of social benefits, they
were afraid of being charged with fraud.
Other major conclusions:
- it is possible to communicate information about AIDS and STDs to prostitutes in all of
the settings, provided that outreach work continues for a prolonged period of time;
- the prostitutes were very content to receive the information on HIV, STDs and 'safer
sex'. They were asked to pass on the information to their colleagues and to their
customers but they seldom did so;
- many of the women expressed a wish to discuss their prostitution related experiences
with others but found it difficult to do so in the work setting; furthermore,
communication or social contact with other prostitutes outside the work place was rare;
- drug using street prostitutes did not carry condoms when at work;
- the prostitutes from Thailand and Africa were vulnerable to acquisition and transmission
of HIV and STDs as they did not speak the language, had no access to the medical system,
had no social security rights due to their 3 months tourist status, or due to a lack of
residence permit. They claimed to use condoms but appeared inexperienced in the handling
of condoms and condoms were not always available at their workplace. Among the Thai
prostitutes in the massage parlours a 'third person' negotiated the concrete details of
their sexual service to clients.
- staff from the district offices of the social services department should be educated
about tell-tale signs of prostitution among social clients and how best to support these
- employees at clubs and homes for young people should have a similar offer of education;
- active support should be considered for prostitutes who wish to start self-help groups
and peer education;
- an alternative to counselling at 'the acute centre' for people in a social crisis should
- AIDS /safe sex information and other services for male prostitutes should be initiated;
- a delivery system for free distribution of condoms to street prostitutes should be
- continued outreach work and counselling among prostitutes from the Third World is
essential. Materials informing them about HIV and STDs should be produced in their native
Most of these proposals have yet not been taken up by the local authorities. But the
social services department decided to make the outreach counselling on HIV/STDs permanent
and it is now integrated as part of the work of the centre for young people. Periodic
outreach work took place in 1993 and 1994. Recently, the outreach team was changed. A
former prostitute was trained in HIV prevention and started to visit prostitutes with one
of the social assistants. All prostitutes contacted during October and November 1994 were
unknown to the assistant, pointing to the importance of frequent recurrent outreach work
in the milieu. The offers of free access to a psychologist and the possibility of
anonymous counselling at the acute centre have not become more popular. As a consequence,
the social services department is considering the inclusion of a social worker in the
outreach team. The intention is to make the social worker a familiar face in the milieu.
It is a moot point whether a social worker (representing the social system) can create an
atmosphere in which prostitutes are confident enough to discuss their situation with their
district office. This is especially so since there is no common response throughout the
social system to fraud. Thus, a month ago, a former prostitute was charged with fraud and
tried in a major Danish city after being reported to the police by her social worker. The
woman was sentenced to 200 hours community service and to repay the full amount of the
social benefits she received during the time that she also worked as a prostitute. This
does not occur very often since many social workers are more flexible and supportive and
both types of reaction are allowed for by the law. But the point is that a prostitute does
not know in advance, how her (his) social worker will respond.
The STD clinic in Aarhus still has special opening hours for prostitutes. Experience
with this service is mixed. At times outreach work in the milieu leads to more prostitutes
showing up for a consultation. Fifteen prostitutes now have an understanding with the
staff that they will be notified every third month. But they often do not show up,
especially in between the outreach periods. This seems to be because it is inconvenient
rather than because of resistance on behalf of the prostitutes. The number of massage
parlours staffed by foreign prostitutes has increased since 1992, especially those with
Thai women (9-10 massage parlours now employ Thai women). Outreach work in these places a
year ago resulted in some turbulent reactions but also led to the establishment of an
agreement between the STD clinic and key contacts in the milieu. The Thai prostitutes now
make regular visits to the clinic for HIV tests and STD checkups. The question arises of
what will happen should one of the women test HIV positive in the future. If the woman
stays in Denmark on a tourist visa she has no right to receive treatment and she is
unlikely to receive support and counselling beyond the counselling provided by the clinic
staff who inform her that she is HIV seropositive. She may have to conceal information
about her HIV status in order not to be sent home. In order to prepare for such an
eventuality more information on the living and working conditions of Thai prostitutes is
needed. The purpose and possible outcome of the visits to the clinic should also be
reconsidered. To sum up: Aarhus municipality is the only local authority so far to have
set up a joint project between the social services and a STD clinic in the city. It was
and remains possible to reach women working at massage parlours and on the street through
outreach work, while bar and escort prostitutes were difficult to reach. The prostitutes
are very interested in receiving information about HIV and AIDS. Though their clients are
already consistent condom users, they often do not know what to do if the condom breaks
and they often are uncertain about risks associated with oral sex. Due to the turnover of
prostitues and the lack of communication between those working at the same workplace,
repeated visits to each workplace are needed throughout the year. Many prostitutes seem to
use the contact as an occasion to discuss more serious work related problems. They do not
seek help with these problems in the social service departments as they fear being accused
of benefit fraud and some also fear having their children removed.
Evaluation: HIV prevention support to the users of REDEN
The Christian Foundation for Young Women (KFUK) has provided social support since 1947
to prostitutes and other women in the poorer district of Copenhagen, close the central
station. In 1983 KFUK opened REDEN, a drop-in centre and a base for outreach work in the
area. The centre is today staffed by a manager, six paid workers and 16-17 volunteers. The
salaries of two of the staff and half of the centre's rent are reimbursed by the public
authorities and KFUK itself covers the remaining expenses. Reden is open to all visitors
every weekday between 10am and 10pm (Sundays 15pm to 10pm), and outreach work is done once
a week in the area. Reden has 1000-1200 visits each month and comes into contact with
approximately 350 street prostitutes over the course of a year. The users (note: the
clients of Reden will be referred as 'users' in order to avoid confusion with the clients
of the prostitutes) are all drug users, most are IVDUs. Two thirds are homeless. The prime
objective of Reden is to motivate the women to stop their drug abuse (and thus their need
to work as prostitutes) but Reden places no pressure on the users. A drug treatment
programme is run from a separate location in Copenhagen, aiming at detoxification,
followed by residence on a farm and reintegration into social life. Reden also counsels
prostitutes who prefer to continue with their sex work. Finally, Reden offers food and tea
to the women and provides a place of refuge; men are not allowed to enter. Until 1991
Reden was situated right in the centre of street prostitution but the police started to
hound the women on the street three years ago and they now work in some of the nearby
streets. Evaluation of the AIDS prevention activities in Reden took place between August
and November 1994. The evaluation was limited to sexual transmission of HIV as Reden
refuses to allow drug use, drug dealing, or the cleaning of needles inside the house.
Clean needles are available through needle exchange services at several pharmacies in the
area. The prime objective was to help the prostitutes to protect themselves better against
infection by HIV and STDs and to address this issue within a broad approach of
client-prostitute interaction. The street prostitutes are vulnerable to assaults and
violence due to their working conditions and due to their sometimes confused condition
when providing a service to a client. 'Safe sex' therefore only constitutes a part of a
broader category of 'safe client contact'. Three concrete objectives for evaluation were
- to assess the appropriateness of the remedies (condoms etc.) distributed by Reden;
- to assess the extent of safe and unsafe sex by the prostitutes;
- to spread the message of safer sex to the users by the staff at Reden.
An active research method was chosen, involving the project workers in the process of
collecting information on the sex work of the women and also involving the staff in
decisions about what to investigate and how to make appropriate changes in getting across
their message and the distribution of their materials. The evaluation had two phases: the
first month was used by the evaluator to conduct participant observation in Reden. During
the following three months the staff was involved in the investigation and in
implementation of the changes. Observation of user-employee interaction in Reden during
the first month revealed that condoms were distributed without much information provided
about their use. A prostitute typically might ask for five condoms. When asked about what
type she preferred it was not unusual to hear answers like: "I don't know, the same
as last time", or: "It doesn't matter, just give me five". But most women
asked for a special type or a mixture. Condoms have been delivered free of charge to Reden
from the municipal health officer since 1986. Reden is free to choose among 10-15
different types of condoms, all the same brand. At the beginning of the evaluation five
different types of condoms were distributed to the prostitutes but lubricants or other
contraceptives were not available. Conversation with the staff revealed great enthusiasm
for the message of 'safer sex' to the users. But several employees were uncertain about
specific practices, including the appropriate response when condoms break. Employees
already showed an awareness of the dangers of violence and assault but many did not know
where the women went with their customers and the type of services they usually provided.
Concise guidelines to 'safer sex precautions' were written and handed out to the staff. A
short questionnaire on condom use by the prostitutes was also developed. It was not
intended to collect a large number of filled-in questionnaires. The aim was to let the
employees conduct the interviews in order to widen their knowledge of the issues and the
language used. All employees therefore were encouraged to interview one or more of the
prostitutes (one at a time). Three employees conducted 12 interviews. Many of their
colleagues expressed a desire to participate in the interviewing but since it had been a
rather turbulent period at Reden, they had not found time for it. During an organised
discussion with all employees, their experiences with interviewing - especially the more
surprising responses - were related and in this way a collective pool of knowledge emerged
within the group. The frequent use of two condoms at once had been the most surprising
revelation to emerge from the interviews. But rather frequent condom splitting also caused
concern. Only one interviewee had never experienced breakage of a condom and half the
women had experienced breakage within the preceding 6 months. Among all the interviewees
only two had reacted 'correctly' in that situation. Washing, sluicing, and insertion of
fingers and various objects to clean the vagina was frequently reported by the
prostitutes. Three of the prostitutes used lubricants while the rest used their own saliva
- or nothing at all. Almost all interviewees were keen to get access to lubricants and
The discussion led to the following conclusions:
- It is a task of all project workers to discuss condom use and other 'safe sex' practices
with the users of Reden.
- These issues were already discussed with some users sometimes but in order to ensure
discussions with all users, a more systematic method of communication should be
introduced. Then, for a period, frequency of and response to condom rupture should be
discussed with any woman who asked for condoms.
- A pamphlet with information on safer sex practices and response to condom breakage
should be handed out to the prostitutes who only use Reden as a place to pick up condoms
(these women never stay long enough for a conversation).
- Several employees felt that they knew too little about the working conditions and
experiences of their users; it was therefore decided to expand the questionnaire on this
- Lubricants (without nonoxynol-9) in small tubes and suppositories (containing
nonoxynol-9) for distribution to the users should be arranged.
The decisions were put into effect and the results evaluated three months later. During
this period there were repeated complaints from the prostitutes of price undercutting and
of increased demands from clients for sex without condoms. One prostitute called for a
meeting in order to reestablish a common price level and a common practice of condom use.
Many of the prostitutes claimed to be interested in the meeting but only two showed up.
The meeting led to a stabilisation of the prices charged due to a minimum prices list put
up at Reden - probably because the list also contained threats to beat up those who
undercut prices or offered a service without condoms. A few of the prostitutes also
participated in a weekend seminar on violence and safe sex, arranged by WOMEN AND AIDS.
When asked later about what emerged from the seminar, they agreed that they were in a
better position to protect themselves. But they passed on almost nothing of their
experiences to other prostitutes at Reden. Six of the staff conducted another nine
interviews, making use of the expanded questionnaire. The pattern of condom rupture and
use of condoms and lubricants did not diverge from that of the first 12 interviewees. Four
of the nine women had experienced enforced intercourse without a condom but they all
reported attempts by customers to enforce such sex or to cheat with the condom.
Furthermore, five of the women had suffered a severe violent assault at the hands of a
client but only two had reported the episode to the police. To sum up: the prostitutes
might be at risk of exposure to the semen of their clients due to inappropriate condom
use. But they also from time to time encounter a customer who simply enforces his will.
Two other factors influence the risk of exposure to diseases. To begin with, the women who
inject drugs need 7.500-14.000 Dkr (1-2.000 ECU) each week to pay for their drugs. With a
mean price of 350 Dkr (45 ECU) for 'Danish' (vaginal) intercourse an IVDU requires many
clients to cover the cost of drugs. Desperation is likely on occasion to drive some of the
prostitutes to accept different conditions for their service but this is very difficult to
investigate. On the surface, all prostitutes claim always to use condoms during sex. The
last - and perhaps the most important - factor influencing the risk of exposure to disease
concerns how the prostitutes relate to their non-paying partners. Only one of the 21
prostitutes that were interviewed claimed that she would not have intercourse with a
boyfriend if he refused to use a condom. Six women claimed not to have a boyfriend and
professed a lack of interest in finding one. The remainder did not use condoms with their
boyfriend or had not done so the last time they had a stable partner. In general, the
argument went: 'boyfriends do not have affairs on the side'. In comparison, all the IVDUs
claimed never to have borrowed needles from other IVDUs. Quite a lot of street prostitutes
do not have a boyfriend but when they do, the boyfriend is usually himself an IVDU and
might be HIV seropositive. However, the prostitutes connected the risk of HIV transmission
to drug injections and with the prostitution necessary for buying the drugs. In their
private affairs, they did take precaution not to acquire HIV from the infected equipment
of their boyfriend but sex with the boyfriend was seen as quite a different issue. A pilot
distribution of lubricants and nonoxynol-9 suppository free of charge to the users of
Reden was introduced. These items were only handed over after counselling on how to use
them and it was especially emphasised that a suppository*
EDITOR NOTE: Most consider a suppository to be anally inserted. We
believe this article refers to a vaginal insert - sometimes called a "vaginal
suppository". We inject this only for clarification.
is not as safe as a condom and should only be used in case of an 'emergency'. The staff
also checked that none of the prostitutes frequently received suppositories as this would
indicate that they had replaced condoms by suppositories. An organised discussion with the
employees was conducted towards the end of the evaluation. The discussion picked up on
experiences from the new interviews, assessed the efficiency of the distribution of
lubricants and suppositories, and assessed the outcome of safer sex messages on the users.
The staff concluded:
- lubricants and suppositories were well received by the prostitutes. Several women had
informed the staff that they had made use of the suppository when a condom ruptured. After
initial success the lubricants became less popular, partly because the tube was unwieldy,
partly because the cream was too fluid;
- the users frequently complained of condom breakage and claimed this to be due to the bad
quality of the condoms. The quality of the condoms seemed acceptable, with the possible
exception of the non-lubricated condom (used for oral sex); this condom was frequently
reported to break;
- all but one of the condom types were delivered in strips of five and had identical
wrapping, when removed from the 10 piece packet;
- the condoms were delivered in strips of five. Perforation between the condoms was poor.
Detachment of one condom from the strip often teared the wrapping of the next condom in
- the condom delivery system was unstable. Reden ran out of stock for the most popular
type of condoms during the period of evaluation. Such a temporary break in delivery had
been experienced before;
- all employees had talked to the prostitutes about 'safer sex' issues and all those
receiving condoms had been informed. The group of prostitutes who made frequent visits to
Reden now had been informed and showed no interest in further discussion of the issue for
the time being;
- a few employees stated that it might not be appropriate for all employees to take part
in getting the safer sex message across. They felt that only those interested in this
aspect of the life of the users ought to particpate in this in the future;
- the prostitutes had no problem discussing their sex life but there had been a tendency
to avoid discussions on the assaults and violence they had experienced, prefering to
forget the episodes;
- interest among the prostitutes in taking part in interviews had reached its maximum and
it had become difficult of late to conduct interviews.
Overall, the staff concluded that they had gained new insight from the evaluation,
especially on concrete issues like what to do in case of condom rupture. Most employees
found that they had been able to pass this information onto the users too. The staff
decided to continue distribution of suppositories and lubricants but to search for a
better lubricant in more appropriate tubes. The municipal officer - or the condom
manufacturer directly - should be informed about the problems experienced with the condom
wrapping and quality of the condoms themselves. Thus, information about the condom should
be written directly on the wrapping of each condom, the perforation should be better, and
the supply more stable. It was further decided to stop the safer sex communication for a
period but to repeat it after some months. Recently, better lubricants have been bought
and will be introduced by the staff.
Needs assessment among female bar-, escort- and massage parlour prostitutes in
Copenhagen (EUROPAP investigation)
In several of the EU countries centres have been established for prostitutes, centres
that provide a broad range of services like medical check-ups, social councelling,
consultation with a psychologist, legal advice etc. In order to assess the need for a
centre for prostitutes in Copenhagen, in-depth interviews were planned and carried out. A
total of 19 female prostitutes were interviewed: eight women working at massage parlours,
five bar prostitutes and six escort girls. (Note: social worker Lene Nyvang was the main
interviewer. A prostitute conducted the bar interviews, and social worker Hanne Zahle made
a few of the interviews with escort girls). Each interview focused on working conditions,
encounters with the medical system, and the need for services as experienced by
prostitutes, both by women who had no plans to stop and by women who expressed a wish to
end their sex work career.
Long term consequences of prostitution were similar to those described by two other recent
investigations in Denmark. They include addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, being in debt,
sex problems with their private partners, and living in social isolation from other
people. The longer they were involved in prostitution the more severe these problems
became. But the degree of secrecy sustained by the women in regard to people outside
prostitution , - especially vis-a-vis parents, children and other family members - also
had a major influence on their current experience of wellbeing. This need for this secrecy
is related to the widespread double moral standards in regard to prostitution in Denmark.
The prevailing attitude is that prostitution is a 'natural' phenomenon but it would in no
way be 'natural' for one's own daughter to work as a prostitute. Yet, secrecy is also
forced upon the individual prostitute by the semi-criminalised legal status of prostitutes
and by their fear of prosecution by the authorities for benefit fraud and fear of the
state taking away their children. Consequently, none of those interviewed had told their
social security office about their involvement in prostitution. All the interviewees had
been examined for STDs at least once and most also had had a test for HIV. But only a few
had had a medical check up within the last 12 months. The prevailing attitude of the
interviewees was that prostitutes are not at risk of acquiring HIV or STDs because they
protect themselves by using condoms. On the other hand, condoms do break and most also
felt that they ought to have a regular check up. The reason why they had not been examined
for a long time was usually put down to the lack of symptoms. This was much like not going
to the dentist due to not having problems with one's teeth. All the massage parlour
prostitutes said they would be interested in participating in outreach work with a doctor
if a project was set up. So did the bar prostitutes except one. But it may be difficult to
arrange a place to carry out a physical examination in the bars; all available space is
usually in use. Escort girls cannot be visited in this way as they most do not have a
regular place of work. Most prostitutes had a preference for male doctors - whether during
outreach or in a clinic - since they were felt to be the most gentle during a physical
examination. The prostitutes were told about the special opening hours at the STD clinic
in Aarhus and asked whether they would like a similar arrangement at clinics in
Copenhagen. None had heard about these special opening hours before and very few found the
idea especially good. When discussing their latest check up, two thirds said they had
contacted a STD clinic, the rest had been examined by their 'family doctor'. One of these
women found it reassuring when she was being treated that the doctor knew about her
prostitution but otherwise the prostitutes concealed their sex work activity when
consulting the 'family doctor'. When in contact with a STD clinic, half had informed the
staff about their sex work. None of these had experienced negative reactions from the
staff as a result of this information. All interviews included some kind of councelling.
HIV and STDs were discussed if the interviewee expressed a wish to do so or if responses
from the interviewee revealed a lack of knowledge or inappropriate response in their
dealings with clients. Frequently, interviewees did not know how to protect themselves in
case of condom breakage. Uncertainty also persists on how and whether to use condoms
during oral sex. Interviewees were divided on the usefulness of a centre with services
aimed at prostitutes. Slightly less than half of the women expressed no interest in a
centre. The lack of interest was strongest among escort girls who are also the prostitutes
with greatest anonymity, even vis-a-vis other prostitutes in the milieu. They would not
use the centre due to the risk of meeting other prostitutes at the centre. A few of those
who found a centre to be an interesting idea thought that the centre should only provide
professional services (social councelling, legal advice, medical check ups). The rest of
the women (half of those interviewed) appreciated a centre with these functions but also
felt that the centre could provide a space and an opportunity for social meetings, social
rights meetings and self organisation. They all pointed to the importance of involving
prostitutes in setting up the centre and deciding on its function.
AREAS WHERE EUROPAP HELPED PROMOTE HIV PREVENTION FOR PROSTITUTES
Promoting HIV prevention in Denmark includes applying for money, lobbying politicians,
assessing unmet needs, elaborating models and proposals for intervention. EUROPAP DENMARK
has been involved with all these areas during the last year. Fund raising and the
development of a plan to address the social and health issues of prostitution throughout
the country constituted a major task for EUROPAP, especially in the second half of the
project period. The plan proposes to start-up prostitution outreach projects in several
Danish cities. This work was done in collaboration with the PRO-line. Presentation of the
plan to local authorities will hopefully result in a range of local and regional projects
this year - or next year (we are still applying for money). EUROPAP also took more
concrete HIV prevention initiatives. The evaluation of getting the message across and of
condom hand outs at Reden resulted in better practice, sensitive safer sex messages
between staff and users of Reden and introduced lubricants and nonoxynol-9 suppositories
for distribution to the street prostitutes. Reden received the suppositories as a gift for
pilot testing and EUROPAP bought the lubricants. A written report with a recommendation to
freely distribute lubricants and suppositories to street prostitutes is in process and
will be delivered to the municipal health officer. EUROPAP and the PRO-line also have
collaborated on the distribution of pamphlets and remedies to a contact in the escort
milieu. This particular person gets in contact with approximately 100 different escort
girls in the course of 6 months. These girls will be offered lubricants and suppositories
and instruction in their use as well as pamphlets on HIV and STDs. Condoms also will be
available to those who forgot to bring them.
PROPOSALS FOR INITIATIVES IN DENMARK
A list of proposals for initiatives in Denmark is provided below.
- A medical doctor should provide an outreach service in Copenhagen to prostitutes at
massage parlours and bars, preferable in collaboration with a social worker.
- A centre in Copenhagen for prostitutes with a range of services is unlikely to achieve
success if established 'top down' but it might evolve from the medical outreach work
- Free distribution of lubricants and nonoxynol-9 suppositories should be arranged for
street prostitutes and escort girls, not only in Copenhagen but also in other parts of the
country if reliable channels of distribution can be identified.
- Barriers to anonymous STD check ups should be removed.
- Outreach work among female prostitutes with provision for social support and councelling
for HIV/STD prevention should be initiated in the major Danish prostitution cities. Such
initiatives should also aim at establishing revised routines towards social clients active
- Outreach work with provision for social support and councelling for HIV/STD prevention
to male prostitutes in Jutland and Aarhus should be initiated.
- The establishment of a new centre for social development and information will have
prostitution as one of its themes. This is a major achievement. The centre should direct
special attention to collecting information on male prostitutes and immigrant female
prostitutes and develop a service for them. Research on clients across the prostitution
milieus is also needed.
- The law needs to be revised: prostitutes and their cohabiting family members should be
The work of EUROPAP took place as a result of cross-disciplinary collaboration between
teacher/anthropologist Marianne Högsborg, Dr. Med. Anne Marie Worm and social worker Lene
Nyvang. In addition, social worker Hanne Zahle conducted part of the escort interviews
while a prostitute conducted the interviews with bar prostitutes and contributed valuable
critical comments on other parts of needs assessment among female prostitutes in
We would like to thank the 'Europe against AIDS' programme from the E.U. DG V and the
AIDS - secretariat, the Ministry of Health, for the grant that made it possible to carry
out the work of EUROPAP during the first year. We are also thankful to Kbenhavns
Venerea Klinik for collaboration and for providing work facilities.
Finally, we like to thank the prostitutes that participated one way or another in the
project. Hopefully, their contribution will make social and health services better for
prostitutes in the future.
LIST OF PROJECTS
- PAF - Prostitution af Fyre
Linnésgade 25 st - 1361 København K
V/ Dorit Otzen
Gasværksvej 24 st.tv. - 1656 København V.
- VI STÅR SAMMEN
V/ Jackie Siwens
Kløvervænget 5 - 4571 Grevinge
V/ Lene Nyvang
Gasværksvej 24 st.tv. - 1656 Kbh V
- EUROPAP Denmark
V/ Marianne Høgsborg
Kbh's Venerea Klinik
Rudolph Berghs Hospital
Tietgensgade 31 d - 1704 København V
(+45) 126.96.36.199/Fax (+45) 33.33.04.48
- FIF (Guys in Prostitution)
V/ AIDS co-ordinator Jens Thygesen
Landsforeningen af Bøsser og Lesbiske
Jægergårdsgade 42-44 - Postboks 362 - 8100 Århus C
- AIDS and Prostitution Outreach
V/ Lene Jensen
Valdemarsgade 18A - 8000 Århus C
Skindergade 27, 2. TH - 1159 København K
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Anne Marie WORM Local coordinator: