BY Michelle Garcia
December 11 2009 5:30 PM ET
After a unanimous decision by the Nevada board of health, male prostitutes are now legally allowed to work in brothels. The state decided on Friday to change health codes so that male sex workers can be tested for infectious diseases, a stipulation for brothel workers in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Sun.
Men were previously barred from sex work in brothels because the codes specified that prostitutes must undergo "cervical" testing for STDs. Brothel owner Bobbi Davis, from the Shady Lady Ranch, wanted to add men to her slate of prostitutes, requiring she file a request for the policy to be changed. Her business will offer services from men -- who can decide whether they want to take on male or female clients — starting in January.
The state board of health will now add urethral exams to the guidelines, allowing all prostitutes — male and female — to be tested for diseases.
George Flint, a lobbyist for the Nevada Brothel Owners Association, said he "reluctantly" agreed to the change because he couldn't oppose regulation for one gender and not the other. He underscored that he was worried about HIV transmission between prostitutes and clients, though the industry has had a strong track record in preventing the virus's spread.
“We’ve worked hard for years to make the traditional brothel business in this state socially acceptable and something we can be proud of that most Nevadans accept,” Flint added. “We have some concerns that this can be diluted by what Ms. Bobbi Davis wants to try.”