HIV, Drugs, and Sex Workers

Just read the article on Huffington Post with a title talking about “we can’t fight aids without stopping the war on drugs.”

Yea, preach, cool. But ummmm what about the issue of condom confiscation? How are we to have a generation without HIV when police officers have the legal right to confiscate sex worker’s condoms?

Forcing many, like the ones I interviewed in South Africa, to just not use them. Because if they are caught with condoms in their purses they are immediately arrested and detained for unspecified periods of time, robbed, or raped by those charged to protect the society.

I’m confused.

When I was in Ethiopia, I drove up Entoto Mountain and saw these women, dozens of women, climbing up and down this steep mountain with very heavy loads of branches on their backs.

The women were hunched over, almost to a 90 degree angle and one of them I saw had such bad posture that even when she removed the load from her back was permanently hunched over.

Where were they all going? What were they doing with these branches? There is no way they were being paid enough for such hard labor that left most of them permanently deformed.

Of course I was overcome with sadness. The plight of the women in Africa does not became real until you place your self in their space.

Then and only then does life get real, very quickly.

Shorts: stolen from my bff

Shirt: $1 from thrift store on 14th street, NW

Head wrap: $3 from fabric lady at the market in Cote d’Ivoire

= $4 outfit