Voices in the dark: Male and female sex workers speak out

The study gave male and female sex workers were given an opportunity to tell stories, their way PIC: FILE PIC
The study gave male and female sex workers were given an opportunity to tell stories, their way PIC: FILE PIC

A revealing new report commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Wellness has shone a light on the world of male and female sex workers, their numbers, how they started out, their loved ones, their customers and most importantly, the diseases they suffer and help they get. Staff Writer, MBONGENI MGUNI extracts some of the direct voices from those who spoke up in the study.

Between April 2017 and February 2018, researchers led by Ministry of Health and Wellness with several technical and financial partners, conducted interviews and group discussions with about 2,049 male and female sex workers as well as transgender people.

The study was aimed at uncovering the behavioural and biological trends around these groups which have been identified as being the most high-risk of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Illnesses (STIs). The study was the second since the pioneering effort in 2012 and this time around, it was widened to include transgender individuals.

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