New “end demand” laws in France and Canada, which criminalize patrons of sex workers as well as advertising for such services rather than sex workers themselves, do not facilitate access to health care for people in this line of work, MedPage Today reports. In fact, such end demand legislation may complicate access to such services.

Researchers in the two nations conducted a pair of studies over time to analyze the impact on sex workers’ health care access that the recent passage of end demand laws have had there. Findings were presented at the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam (AIDS 2018).

In Canada, researchers found that after the implementation of the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act (PCEPA), the 2015 to 2017 period saw a 41 percent reduction in access to health care services among sex workers and a 23 percent reduction in access to support services led by sex workers. HIV treatment rates remained stable among those living with the virus.

As for the effects of end demand legislation in France, which passed in 2016, researchers concluded that the shift actually led to “an acute increase in [sex workers’] socioeconomic vulnerability.” Sex workers also used condoms less, had more difficulty in negotiating safer sex with their clients and, among those with the virus, increased trouble accessing HIV treatment services.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.