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Intolerance among sex workers

Silver Rose’s partner network The Tajik network Dignity Public Organization in Tajikistan provides shelter to women living with HIV. A member of The Tajik Network mentions the high importance of offering support to women at community level, but also describes how exclusion within the community sometimes takes place.

One day an HIV-positive girl with resistant tuberculosis visited our community at the shelter, but the other women didn’t want to accept and receive her. The girl was not joining the others by sitting down at the table during dinnertime. In our community this is not accepted. “If you don’t want to sit down with us, I’m not going to cook for you”, is the common idea.

We had to fight for two weeks before the others treated the girl alright. We explained that if you prosecute yourselves, what attitude can you expect from doctors and other external people? The girl unfortunately left the shelter after she stayed at our center from April to August and soon after she relapsed. This story shows how people within one community can be intolerant to each other. If 5 to 10 sex workers live under the same roof, there is no guarantee that they will not discriminate against each other on any grounds. This problem is given little attention.


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