Policing the Sources of Infection
This chapter discusses how the treatment of venereal diseases guided the colonial policing of sex work. Colonial policies designed to slow the spread of venereal diseases by policing ended up backfiring — inadvertently driving women underground to sell sex on the black market, where infection spread all the more easily. In the late 1930s, venereal disease prevention became a useful tool for policing unregistered sex work in ways that were not permitted under the 1921 law. The chapter talks about the making of the 1921 law, patterns of venereal disease transmission in Tonkin, the fight against venereal diseases, the collaborative efforts they mad to reduce transmission in the countryside, and the informal reform of the regulation system.
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