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A Salt Lake City woman who has continued working as a prostitute despite being diagnosed HIV-positive was sent to prison for up to five years on Wednesday.

Latisha Patwardhan, 26, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree felony sexual solicitation and was immediately sentenced to prison by 3rd District Judge Randall Skanchy.

Patwardhan was diagnosed HIV-positive in July 2007 through a court-ordered test after her fourth prostitution bust. She received prison and jail time for her fifth and sixth convictions in 2008 and 2009.

This year, she was charged in two new felony prostitution cases. One of those cases was dismissed Wednesday in exchange for her plea in the other case.

Patwardhan first was convicted of sexual solicitation in 2002, just months after her 18th birthday.

Utah is one of 12 states with enhanced penalties for solicitation and prostitution offenders who know they are HIV-positive, according to a federally funded 2002 study.

Stephen Hunt