A PanAfricanist Queer Womanist Collective

Selling sex to support her family

By Selloane Molakeng

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BETHLEHEM – Yoliswa Mazibuko*, who lives in Bethlehem in the Free State has to put her health at risk to provide for her family. Being a single parent to three children has led her to a job she never pictured herself doing at any day: sex work.

“I am HIV positive. I work as a prostitute to generate income and provide for my family” said *Mazibuko.

Mazibuko she showed OurHealth the new clothes she had bought for her children for the coming winter, paid for with the income she generated.

“I recently bought my children winter [clothes], it brings joy to my heart knowing that they will be warm this winter” said Mazibuko

Mazibuko told OurHealth she had been working as a sex worker for more than four years.

“I have been in the industry for longer than four years now, but it is only recently that I found out about my HIV status and I am scared,” she said.

She fears that her life will be shortened by the virus and no one will take care of her children if she dies.

“At times I do not use protection, a condom, with the different men I have sex with. I fear that my health is at risk, but what can I do? Sex work is the only means of income that I know,” she said.

Mazibuko’s friends are also all sex workers that is how they make a living. Although this puts their health at risk, the women have families and are determined to bring food on to the table.

*not her real name

Selloane Molakeng is the OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from the Thabo Mofutsanyana health district in the Free State

first sourced from SWEAT site.

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