Male Sex workers
Sometimes, we don´t have safe sex, and there are several possible reasons why:
Lack of knowlege about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
Sometimes we lack information about HIV and other STDs. This may be because we haven´t learned about taking care of our health properly, or because in some cultures there isn´t a lot of knowledge about condoms or how using them can prevent the transmission of STDs.
Being embarrassed or not knowing who to ask
Maybe you have a lot of questions about HIV, or about things you aren´t sure you´re well informed about. Often, you don´t ask anyone these types of questions floating around in your head, because you´re embarrassed or don´t really know very well who to turn to.
Never be ashamed to ask someone, this is a sign you´re taking care of your health and that is the most valuable thing you have. It´s good to talk about these things, this way you can find out things about HIV and other STDs that you didn´t know before, or had mistaken ideas about.
You should see your doctor and ask about anything you need to. He/she is there just for that, to help you in any way. There are also many organizations and information hotlines about health related issues.
"It can´t happen to me!"
There are people out there that believe HIV is only for drug addicts, or that HIV only exists in third world countries; or even that it is just something that happens to others, and it could never happen to them.
Well, realize that that´s exactly what those other people thought before they got infected/re-infected with HIV. AIDS doesn´t discriminate. There aren´t high-risk groups, although prostitutes and homosexuals have been mistakenly targeted as high-risk groups. What is true though is that there are sexual practices that are at a higher risk for HIV transmission.
Drugs and alcohol
Drug and alcohol use can make us lose control of what we´re doing and can facilitate having unsafe sex.
The client doesn´t want us to use condoms
Sometimes, the client may offer you more money to not use a condom. Don´t sell your health, it´s something more valuable than money. Even though sex without a condom may mean more cash in hand right now, in the future it could mean living your life with an incurable sickness.
Tell him that you have his best interests in mind, and that you don´t want to have risky sex that could be dangerous. Try to explain the importance of condom use.
He could also try to say that he doesn´t get the same amount of pleasure from using a condom, and that it not as much fun. Make him see that putting on the condom can be a sensual and fun game, and tell him that the most important part of pleasure isn´t using or not using a condom, but how well you play the game.
You may think that by working in prostitution you are worth less as a person, or that other people can do whatever they want with you. This could bring your self-esteem (how much you value yourself) down and you might stop taking care of your health. And if your health begins to matter less to you, maybe you decide to have unprotected sex.
Casual sex or sex with my partner
Trust isn´t a good prevention strategy. Having casual sex with another sex worker seems like a guarantee that you don´t need to use protection, but each time we have unprotected sex we´re exposing ourselves to potential transmission of any STD. Only with a stable partner, and after taking HIV tests together, should you consider sex without condoms. And even then, don´t forget that condoms are the best way to prevent HIV infection and protect your health.