NEWARK, N.J., JAN. 5 -- The City Council plans to pass an ordinance Wednesday requiring mandatory AIDS tests for anyone convicted of engaging in, soliciting or arranging prostitution, Council President Henry Martinez said today.
The ordinance was attacked by the American Civil Liberties Union as harming efforts to control the AIDS virus.
But Martinez, predicting unanimous support on the nine-member Council, said the city's plan to test those involved in prostitution and publish their names in local newspapers is necessary to prevent customers and spouses from becoming innocent victims and to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Under the proposed ordinance, two AIDS tests taken six months apart would be mandatory for anyone convicted of being a prostitute, soliciting a prostitute or arranging prostitution. Those who refuse to submit to the tests would face penalties of up to $1,000 in fines and 90 days in jail.
The city also plans to place newspaper advertisements listing names of those convicted of soliciting beginning in April. Council spokeswoman Carol Lynn Patterson said some suburban newspapers have agreed to run the ads but that the Newark paper, The Star-Ledger, has refused.
A spokeswoman for Mayor Sharpe James said she expects James will sign the ordinance.