LOCAL sex workers have been urged to offer clients telephonic or virtual sex due to Covid-19.
Executive director of Rights Not Rescue Trust (RNRT) Nicodemus ‘Mama Africa’ !Aoxamub said: « Practise phone sex. Let’s engage virtually on things like Zoom. We can’t practise physical sex due to Covid-19. » Some sex workers prefer engaging in physical sex as more money is involved, !Aoxamub said.
She advised that payment should be obtained first before engaging in telephonic or virtual sex.
Sex workers were called on to adhere to the government’s Covid-19 regulations. « Covid-19 is risky for sex workers. Have your documents as proof that you did a Covid-19 test, » !Aoxamub said.
The activist, who has been a sex worker for more than three decades, encouraged sex workers who have regular clients to often go for Covid-19 testing, and to encourage their clients to do so too.
!Aoxamub said engaging with tourists should be safe as they are tested for Covid-19 before arriving in Namibia. Earlier this year she said sex workers were reluctant to get tested for Covid-19 due to the stigma and discrimination they face at health facilities.
HIV AND SEX WORK
RNRT distributes safe sex kits, including condoms, lubricants and information on safe sex.
!Aoxamub called on sex workers to visit the RNRT office in Windhoek to obtain safe sex kits.
They are also available from outreach officers, she said.
She discouraged sex workers from using clients’ condoms as they may poke holes in them.
!Aoxamub also advised against using saliva or cooking oil as lubricants as this could lead to condoms breaking. RNRT has more than 100 outreach officers in most regions. !Aoxamub said the trust monitors HIV-AIDS cases.
« If someone drops HIV treatment, we can trace the person and get them back on treatment, » she said. She said some HIV-positive sex workers cease treatment when they enter relationships.
« They may be scared to tell their partner they are on medication, » !Aoxamub said.
« We encourage our members to disclose their status to their partners. They can also bring in their partner to be put on Prep and treatment, » she said.
The organisations does referrals for HIV testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis (Prep) and treatment.
« Our organisation is concerned about the health of our members. We want want our people to live their lives and practise safe sex, » !Aoxamub said.
« We don’t want anyone left behind, » she said. The activist said healthcare professionals should be trained on dealing with sex workers as well as other key population groups, such as men who have sex with men, truck drivers and drug users, among others.
She said the trust’s goal is to have a zero HIV infection rate in the country, and to ensure those infected are treated.
RNRT assists the Ministry of Health and Social Services by sensitising healthcare workers through referrals, !Aoxamub said.
« Some people don’t seek services at health facilities due to stigma and discrimination. We bring our side in the fight against HIV, » she said.