SEX WORKERS OF BAHIR DAR


Ethiopia is one of the most severely-affected countries in the world with regards to HIV/AIDS. The widespread practise of unprotected sex by the myriads of prostitutes serves only to fuel the worsening crisis. The town of Bahir Dar in the Amhara Region is a major nucleus for prostitution and child trafficking. It is subsequently facing an AIDS epidemic, with recent studies suggesting that as much as ¼ of the towns’ population is HIV positive – the highest AIDS rate in the country. The prostitution is intrinsically linked to the extreme poverty of the region, where commercial sexual exploitation is, realistically albeit not theoretically, the only alternative to a life of deprivation and impoverishment. Lack of contraception and sex education in the brothels, ultimately advocates the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Rural women and children are trafficked from the Woredas to the fluorescent glow of Bahir Dar’s red-light district, where they are incarcerated in the squalid labyrinths of these brothels, condemned to a life of sexual exploitation in a twisted game of Russian roulette.