|Sex for survival|
|Written by Johnny Poiya|
|Wednesday, 23 February 2011 00:00|
Hagen women tell their story.
Sex workers, lying of being happily married, Christians or virgins, are spreading HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the main centres of Papua New Guinea. This came to light following interviews with female sex workers in Mt Hagen by the Post-Courier this week.
About four years ago, several sex workers were interviewed after the Catholic Health Services in Mt Hagen told this reporter that some known HIV/ Aids patients turned to sex as a trade to survive after being chased away from their homes and villages.
Some of these women interviewed at the time are still working, especially during the dark hours on the streets of Mt Hagen, targeting strangers, especially elderly men who are from the resource rich provinces of Southern Highlands and Enga provinces of Papua New Guinea.
Since they are being shunned because of their status and popularity, these workers frequent pokies houses, night clubs and lodges to target clients from outside of Mt Hagen. One worker on the condition of anonymity said: “Taim ol nupela pes man wantaim mani save askim mi, mi save tokim ol olsem mi lotu na marit meri na save giaman. Ol save givim planti moni na save les long usim kondom.” (When wealthy strangers ask me, I tell them that I am a married Christian and pretend to refuse. Their offer more money and they refuse to use condom.)
All five women interviewed requested anonymity and spoke of using similar tactics to attract more payments whilst their clients walk away with the deadly virus or other STDs. One said she refuses to be seen with her clients in public spots, pretending that her imaginative husband hails from a well known tribe on the city’s periphery, so for safety and secrecy, a room is booked either in a hotel or lodge. She walks away in the morning with her payment.
Another in her teens, probably the youngest said she uses her age and beauty as an advantage over the others to attract her clients who range from all age groups. One lodge in the city has now become so popular, more like a brothel, in allowing sex workers to do business. Those interviewed named it as their home.
This new lodge has replaced an Asian operated Lodge near the Mt Hagen Police station, which was shut down after it turned out to be a brothel some years ago. Every morning, this group of women are seen coming out of the road between the NBC and ANZ bank and return in the evening.
The women said the use of condom was the prerogative of the client.
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