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Sex workers reject face masks, favor condoms, in times of swine flu

May 5, 2009 |  8:40 am

The Mex Files blog, run here in Mexico City by Richard Grabman, reports that food and streets vendors aren't the only trades taking a hit from the trade restrictions still in place here due to the swine flu outbreak. 

The city's sex workers are, apparently, also suffering.

"[Sex workers] have been particularly hard-hit by the santitary contingency. According to Jamie Montejo, press spokesperson for Brigada Callejero (a streetwalkers’ support and mutual assistance group), 70 percent of the street walkers are out of a job right now, and there has been a 40 percent decline in customer demand," reports the Mex Files.

When the risk of contracting HIV is a daily reality for sex workers on Mexico City's streets, wearing the tapabocas, or face masks, that have become so visible across the capital over the last 10 days strikes some as ridiculous. 

That's according to Fátima, a 40-year-old Parque Sullivan “strolling hostess” interviewed by Agence France-Presse

"If AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are a industrial illness, I’m not going to worry about this ... flu, that’s curable. AIDS has no cure."

Read the full report through the Mex Files links.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City