Edinburgh police have issued proposals to ban condoms from Edinburgh licensed saunas. Clearly the thought behind this idea is that some patrons might be put off going to saunas by people having sex in them, but banning condoms is not going to prevent people having sex, it is just going to increase the associated risks, and particularly increase the risk of HIV transmission in MSM.
There are five licensed saunas in Edinburgh, and police want any item of a sexual nature banned from them, in a bid to stop sex. However charities say this will put prostitutes and clients on to the streets where they are subject to greater threats and dangers.
Nadine Stott, a board member for Scot-Pep, said: “This goes against all basic common sense. It also places Scotland really out of step with the rest of the world…We are really shocked that, in private, the police have been quite clear to us. They said that the policy (on saunas) wasn’t changing…We think this highlights how inappropriate the police are as a regulatory body of sex workers in a criminal context.”
Better2Know supports the charities in their attempt to keep condoms in saunas, but reminds everyone that condoms do not protect against all STIs and many (herpes, HPV, Syphilis) can be transmitted through skin to skin contact. The only safe sex is no sex, but that can be lonely, so do not forgot to get tested regularly.