Commercial sex workers in Mangochi have teamed up to promote issues of safe sex as their contribution to the reduction of HIV and Aids prevalence rate in the district.
The commercial sex workers have since warned men who prefer unprotect sex that they will not be “serviced” without the ‘rubber’.
“Much as we agree that we are here for money, we want to care and help in preventing the spread of the virus. We have also responsibility to protect our clients as well as our lives,” explained Carolyn Mkwanda.
Mkwanda who is a member of Makawa Commercial Sex Workers grouping told Nyasa Timesin exclusive interview with the group that they have been undergoing trainings on safe sex and other HIV and Aids related issues.
The trainings conducted by Youth Net and Counselling (Yoneco), have been targeting women in sex trade on proper usage of condoms and other issues on safe sex.
“Some clients refuse to use condom and some deliberately break it. But this time around we have geared against such. No condom no sex, no matter how much money they will entice us with, we have made our minds, and with the training we have had, we are able to protect ourselves properly and those men interested in unprotected sex should just forget it,” added another member Catherine Gomani.
Gomani also said apart from practicing safe sex they regularly undergo HIV testing to be sure of their status.
She however said some “clients” demand unprotected sex at a higher fee. Some women did agree to have sex without a condom for a higher fee but said they are sensitising every sex worker against such malpractices.
Gomani added that meanwhile they are recruiting new members to the group and training fellow sex workers not privileged to undergo the Yoneco trainings in order to impart the knowledge.
In related development, the visiting Zambia ex-sex worker Precious Kawinga is meeting commercial sex workers in Mangochi, Zomba and Machinga where among other things she is having pep-talks to help them out of the trade, and contribute effectively to the fight against HIV and Aids pandemic.