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On Nov. 3, the D.C. Council’s Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs heard testimony on Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ Prostitution and Brothel Abatement Act of 2004. The legislation, among other things, would “establish the unlicensed practice of a health occupation as a per se imminent danger to health or safety of the residents of the District.” When asked whether this means that the city now considers prostitution a “health occupation,” D.C. Department of Health spokesperson Briant Coleman said the term was simply chosen to make it easier to shut down massage therapists engaging in prostitution. But District streetwalkers beg to differ: According to an informal survey conducted by Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive, a sex-worker-outreach organization, 60 percent of prostitutes polled say that, depending on the nature of the services provided, they would consider their work a “health occupation.” —Mike Kanin