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Faces of the doomed? Photographer captures women in Lagos brothel, where 1.2 million people have HIV

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Education, abstinence and economic opportunity are needed to end the scourge of HIV.

The Daily Mail has published a series of photos showing women in Lagos, Nigeria who work as prostitutes. It is believed that a quarter of all women working as prostitutes in Nigeria have HIV.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >
Most women are forced into prostitution by other people or their economic circumstances.

Most women are forced into prostitution by other people or their economic circumstances.

Highlights

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
2/2/2017 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: HIV, Lagos, Nigeria, brothel, AIDS, photos


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- "If you arrive by car, you can smell the HIV virus outside," joked the driver of photographer Ton Koeneon. He was dropped off in front of a brothel in Lagos, Nigeria where some 1.2 million people have HIV.

Koeneon obtained permission from the women to take their pictures. The haunting images show women who work in what may be the world' s most dangerous profession, a job with a nearly 100 percent death rate over time.


A person who works as a prostitute long enough will eventually contract a disease. Some diseases are incurable and bring about a myriad of health problems. A few, like HIV, are ultimately fatal.

A number of health advocates insist that condoms are essential to improving safety at the brothels. However, condoms are available but many men do not want to use them. There is a social stigma attached to their use.

In Lagos, where 1.2 million people have HIV, working as a prostitute is a virtual death sentence.

In Lagos, where 1.2 million people have HIV, working as a prostitute is a virtual death sentence.


There are many agencies that want to help these women. But condoms do not help. They merely facilitate. If people are sincere about helping, they would create economic opportunities so people would not enter the trade in the first place. They would do all they could to rescue women in this line of work.

This is the difference between the moral, Christian approach and the secular approach with its ersatz compassion.

Condoms are not the solution. The correct solution is to stop prostitution by stopping men from preying upon women or using them for sexual gratification. That would involve education, as well as support from law enforcement and other moral authorities within the country. Women would need easy economic opportunities that surpass prostitution. If the world has money to fight endless wars, perhaps it can spare a few cents to save lives.

Liberal health advocates believe the solution is condoms, but this is a lie. The real solution is economic opportunity.

Liberal health advocates believe the solution is condoms, but this is a lie. The real solution is economic opportunity.


Few people choose prostitution as a profession. Virtually nobody enjoys the work. What is there to enjoy about another person simply using your body for gratification? What pleasure can there be in faking emotional bonds with people for their money? And how much money? These women are paid between two and five dollars for their work. They may see on average five men a night. That means they make between $10 and $25 per day in exchange for the gruesome death many will suffer.

Some women enter prostitution as young as 14, much too young to appreciate the consequences of their work.

Some women enter prostitution as young as 14, much too young to appreciate the consequences of their work.


Where's the payoff in suffering from HIV or full-blown AIDS?

There is one disease worse than HIV.

Lust.

You can view the photoset here.

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