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The world of prostitution is little different in the United States than it is anywhere else in the world. One key fact to keep in mind, however, is that many Americans, particularly those swayed by religion, are not open-minded or understanding about prostitution.

Prostitution is illegal everywhere in the United States except for certain parts of the state of Nevada. The practice exists at every level of society, from common “streetwalkers” who may “turn tricks” to support a drug habit, to expensive “call girls” and “escort services.” Local police departments are responsible for enforcing laws against prostitution. Enforcement may be lax in one area, strong in the next, and always subject to issues of police corruption and community acceptance.

One of the major side issues relating to prostitution is that of sexually transmitted diseases, the worst being AIDS. Some enlightened municipalities maintain health services for prostitutes to help protect them, and the public who use their services, from these diseases. Other counseling services help prostitutes deal with lifestyle issues like drugs and violence.

The benign image of prostitution occasionally shown in American media and film, as in the highly-popular film Pretty Woman, for example, is not accurate. It can be dangerous to patronize a prostitute under the best of circumstances, and it can be extremely dangerous to be one.

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