HIV-positive Esnath Sikweyala who is a prostitute, has revealed that men still demand to have sex with her without condom even after disclosing that she is HIV-positive. The woman who has accepted her status and is living well, has now started to educate other sex workers on the need to use condoms to avoid contracting the disease. According to Weekend Post, Sikweyala’s main challenge is the desire by some of her “clients” to have unprotected sex with her.
“I look well as you can see, to an extent that some men demand to have unprotected sex with me. I end up showing them my pills, but some do not care about my medication and continue to demand unprotected sex. So, sometimes I do not understand the logic behind these men’s thinking,” Sikweyala said.
She said what keeps her going for now is the fact that she was taught on how to live positively, adding that it is her right to deny unprotected sex. She talks about the importance of teaching her colleagues the need to use condom during sex.
“I am a peer educator and I also distribute condoms to some of my colleagues. “My policy is no condom, no sex, and I do not risk by sacrificing myself having unprotected sex for money, otherwise I will die early and leave my children suffering,” she said.
Speaking further, Sikweyala revealed that as part of the sex education initiative, they had printed T-shirts to push the no condom, no sex agenda. She said in most cases she refuses having unprotected sex. "When I refuse unprotected sex, I am trying to protect my client’s life and mine because I do not want to be re-infected. We were taught that if you continue having unprotected sex, you end up getting re-infected,” she said.
Revealing how she got involved in prostitution, the woman revealed that she entered the trade after the death of her husband in the year 2000 as it was the only way she could take care of her family. The 42-year-old mother of three is not ashamed of her trade and opened up on how this has shaped her life, from ensuring her children attend school to earning a “descent” life.
Her first child is now married and lives in Cape Town, South Africa, while the second born is doing “O” Level. She gave birth to her third child, who is now 13 years old, when she was already HIV-positive. The child is HIV-negative. Speaking to journalists who were part of a recently-conducted National Aids Council tour, Sikweyala, said her children have been very supportive in that they urge her to take her tablets. “But it’s not all rosy,” she said.
The woman who narrated the difficulty she passes in the hands of clients, revealed that some men deliberately break the condoms, in order to have unprotected sex with her, while some demand their money back after sex or assault her for refusing unprotected sex. “We are at the risk of contracting sexually-transmitted infections,” she said.
Her dream is to find an income-generating project in order for her to retire from the trade.