World Cup could draws attention to AIDS and prostitution

The legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa might not be the legendary games, spectacular goals or any other number of amazing on-field displays.

It could be AIDS.

According to, sex worker advocates made dire predictions that the world’s biggest sporting event could be a public health disaster because of the high demand for prostitutes by international soccer fans.

It gets even better. There are some who want the South African government to legalize prostitution in order to contain the spread of the disease, which an estimated 46 percent of South African sex workers have.

The issue should have been taken care of sooner.

South Africa was selected as this year’s FIFA World Cup host back in 2004. AIDS was and is still a problem in South Africa. The World Cup is the most popular sporting event in the world. Some international travelers like to pay for prostitutes. How did they not connect the dots?

According to the article, the next opportunity for a possible change in prostitution law is expected to be in 2011. There was an effort in 2007 to legalize prostitution just for the duration of the World Cup. The idea has surfaced again among proponents of legalization, but a change probably won’t happen.

This is a terrible idea to people who morally disagree with prostitution. Personally, I believe a person selling his or her body for sex shouldn’t happen.

With that said, legalization in this case doesn’t seem like a bad idea. I’m sure everyone has heard a variation on the idea that making something illegal encourages people to do it. Case in point: prohibition in the 1920s and underage drinking.
The argument here, provided by the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce, is that if prostitutes don’t have to worry about getting arrested, it becomes easier to provide condoms, and they can refuse any client who won’t wear one.

This scenario doesn’t account for the fact that condoms don’t guarantee prevention of spreading STDs, but it sounds like a better alternative to not having one.

Now the fate of the issue is left to the potential clients scattered across the world who will be in South Africa this summer and the decisions they make while drunk, desperate or both.

Good luck, South Africa. I’ll just focus on the soccer.

Marshall Doig is a sophomore news-editorial journalism major from San Angelo.