A gaping hole in monitoring HIV risk in the sex industry is being highlighted by United Future which says the research is scanty.
Data provided by the Aids Epidemiology Group reveals three sex workers are recorded as testing positive for HIV in the past five years. However only one of them is known to have quit the industry.
United Future MP Gordon Copeland has raised concerns after discovering no firm records are available on the number of sex workers contracting HIV, nor the number of infected sex workers still working.
Information on occupation is not collected as part of national disease surveillance work and United Future MP Gordon Copeland believes this is an oversight as far as monitoring the sex industry is concerned.
He says he is very surprised the information is so scanty.
Prostitution Law Reform architect, Labour MP Tim Barnett, agrees it is a good issue in principle but says identifying HIV positive sex workers could increase stigmatisation of the industry.
He says it could have the effect of prostitutes not identifying their occupation if they returned an HIV positive test.