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Prostitute Exposed To AIDS Pleads Innocent To Probation Violation

June 8, 1987

MIAMI (AP) _ A convicted prostitute believed to be an AIDS carrier pleaded innocent Monday to charges that she violated her probation by being arrested twice more, and a judge ordered her tested for communicable diseases.

Dade County Judge Morton L. Perry on March 18 had sentenced 19-year-old Wendy Blankenship to a year of probation plus 60 days for prostitution. She since was arrested two more times.

″The state (prosecutor) indicated then that she had the virus,″ Perry said after Monday’s hearing. ″I do know she made a statement in court saying she had the virus but not AIDS.″

Court records show that in March, Ms. Blankenship said, ″I am not active (for AIDS). I have no symptoms at all. I’m not sick.″

Ms. Blankenship has been arrested 14 times, primarily for charges of prostitution, lewd and lascivious behavior and obstructing a sidewalk. Her most recent arrests for prostitution came on April 21 and May 6, the judge said.

Under a new Florida law, a convicted prostitute is to be screened by health officials to determine whether he or she has a sexually transmitted disease, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Those who do are to receive counseling and treatment and can be isolated while receiving treatment.

Ms. Blankenship has said she does not usually tell clients she is an AIDS virus carrier. Clients seldom accept the condoms she offers them, she says.

A study of prostitutes in seven U.S. cities by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control found they were no more likely to have AIDS than other women who had multiple sex partners or used drugs intravenously.

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