A crowdsourcing campaign has been launched after CJ Palmer — the HIV-positive transgender sex worker arrested in Sydney recently after a client made an HIV transmission allegation — was denied bail and detained in a male prison in Perth.
Managed by peer-led advocacy group People for Sex Worker Rights in Western Australia, the online appeal aims to raise $7,000 so that Palmer’s family (who live overseas) can be flown to WA to support her. A report for the Guardian describes Palmer as being “very distressed” amid fears she may be put in solitary confinement.
While Sex Worker Rights WA cannot comment on a case before the courts, its president, Rebecca Davies, said: “We have continually seen, both within Australia and globally, that prosecuting people for cases of this nature result in poorer public health outcomes, and a reduction in people going in for sexual health testing.”
Davies also criticised the media reporting of the Palmer case. “It has been extremely disappointing to see the media actively encouraging stigma towards people living with HIV, transgender women and sex workers,” she said. “Such reporting only serves to create fear and misinformation, when it should highlight the need for drastic improvement in public health sex education.”
Gay Star Network AU