Fierce

Bolivian Sex Workers Are Using Rain Jackets To Help With Coronavirus

Today, with so many countries across the globe affected by the global pandemic, there’s no denying that industries of all sorts are being impacted. Particularly the sex industry.

With strict social distancing rules being enacted to ensure the health of citizens, sex workers around the world have been particularly impacted. Brothels and strip clubs have been shut down and as such these sex workers have had their incomes put on hold.

In 2016, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated there nearly 30,523 prostitutes were working in Bolivia. To note, today’s population in Bolivia is 11,673,021.

Now, Bolivian sex workers in the capital of La Paz are doing what they can to ensure that they secure their livelihoods.

According to Reuters, sex workers are preparing for work under the new conditions of the coronavirus with bleach, gloves, and see-through raincoats. Described as “biosecurity suits” the new precautions are among a “number of recommendations in a 30-page coronavirus security manual drawn up by the Organization of Night Workers of Bolivia (OTN).” In an effort to help with their work, OTN has urged authorities “to lift the day-time business restrictions put in place during the lockdowns, even if a strict nighttime curfew still impedes their more habitual evening work.”

Speaking to Reuters, Lily Cortes, a representative of Bolivia’s sex workers union, told Reuters ” that some women may have no option but to work on the streets if they could not work in cooperative-run brothels. Prostitution is legal in Bolivia, but procuring it is not.” Antonieta, another sex worker told Reuters that she plans on wearing gloves, a visor, and a raincoat over usual clothes for work. To ensure cleanliness, she sprays a bleach solution on the pole she uses to dance on at the brothel in which she works. “The biosecurity suit will allow us to work and protect ourselves,” she told Reuters.

As of this month, Bolivia has had over 48, 000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 1,800 deaths. Still, as Reuters points out it is one of the countries with the least number of tests being carried out, which could mean that the actual numbers of deaths and infections could be much higher.

Based on current research, the World Health Organization has asserted that the coronavirus cannot be sexually transmitted.

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