A few years ago a big secret was revealed: American men would flock to Brazil for secret sex getaways. But now that this is known, the Dominican Republic has replaced Brazil as the sex tourism capital, according to Keith Murphy, who wrote “Fool’s Paradise” for Essence. Men, especially black men, are traveling to the D.R. to have sex with (and exploit) beautiful women, who are willing to do anything to support themselves and families. There are three main reasons the D.R. is ripe for sex tourism. One, prostitution is legal. Two, the peso is so weak compared to the dollar that a man of meager means in the U.S. can feel like a big spender there. And three, travel to the Dominican Republic is relatively inexpensive — an all-inclusive stay on the popular Boca Chica Beach and round-trip airfare can cost as little as $600. And some pay-for-play can run only $20. Several online companies specialize in adult vacation packages. DR Nights, an online sex tour company, has a $2,500 package that includes deluxe hotel accommodations, a 24-hour companion for three nights, and three more companions for two hours every day. But what might be cheap initially could end up costing a life later. Many in the Dominican Republic sex trade act as if HIV/AIDS doesn’t exist, and even more disturbing, one of the men Murphy interviewed said he can tell whether a woman is infected. Then, there’s the potential to bring the virus or another STD home to a girlfriend or wife. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: hiv
Of all the crazy schemes men use to get laid, this one has got to rank at the most vile. That’s both saying a lot and putting this catastrophe mildly.
According to a report at The Huffington Post, a 35-year-old HIV-positive man in New Zealand injected his sleeping HIV-negative wife with the virus so she’d pony up and have sex with him. Keep reading »
Even though the days are sunny and the air is sweet, things aren’t always perfect on “Sesame Street” … especially in South Africa. There is a new kid on the block there and she’s teaching her neighbors about some of the tough realities of life. Meet Kami (short for the Setswana word “Kamogelo” which means “acceptance”), the 5-year-old, HIV-positive muppet. The cute, yellow girl showed up on “Takalani Sesame” (that’s what it’s called in South Africa) a nervous orphan, afraid that she wouldn’t be accepted because of her disease—but, of course, her neighbors embraced her. And so has the rest of the country. Kami has become a role model in South Africa, providing hope for 28,000 HIV-positive children and 1.4 million orphans and teaching others about the challenges of living with HIV/AIDS. She has even been named a UNICEF ambassador for children. So will Kami be visiting the American “Sesame Street” anytime soon? Not a chance. Keep reading »
Ask an American to name the leading cause of death for child-bearing women across the globe and I reckon he or she might say “heart disease,” “breast cancer” or maybe even car accidents. After all, those are some of the greatest killers for American women, ones we are warned to be aware of day-in and day-out.
But the World Health Organization just released the results from its first-ever study of women’s health around the world and the results are telling. HIV/AIDS, actually, is the #1 cause of death or disease for women between the ages 15 and 44 across the globe. Not surprisingly, unprotected sex from lack of access to contraceptives is one of the leading risk factors, warned the W.H.O. How sad: a disease most American women would never expect to die from is actually the leading cause of death for everyone else. [The New York Times] Keep reading »
Last week, the Huffington Post made our blood boil when they reported on a horrifying trend—that insurance companies are denying benefits for women who’ve been raped, and even dropping their coverage altogether. How can they get away with such a thing? Because, when a woman is raped and it’s unknown whether the assailant used a condom, doctors typically prescribe a month’s worth of an anti-HIV medication (which, uh, I didn’t even know existed) as a precaution. It’s extremely rare that a woman actually contracts HIV this way, but insurance companies view this as a morbid done deal. Susan Pisano, a spokeswoman for the health insurance industry’s largest trade group, America’s Health Insurance Plans, explains, “If you put down on a form that you are or were taking anti-HIV drugs at any time, [insurance companies] are going to understand that you are or were in treatment for HIV, period. That could be a factor in determining whether you get coverage.” Keep reading »
Today’s episode of “Oprah” was both upsetting and inspiring. The five women in the clip above all contracted HIV from the same man — their boyfriend, Philippe Padieu, who was secretly wooing (and sleeping with) all of them (and then some!) at the same time. He knew he had HIV, yet didn’t tell any of them. Little did he know what they would do when they found out. The women banded together to warn others being seduced by Padieu’s charms and then went to the police. He was eventually sentenced to 45 years in prison. Kick. Ass. [Oprah] Keep reading »
This new AIDS Awareness campaign from One Life finally uses sex to sell an effective message — when you sleep with him, you’re sleeping with everyone in his past. Click on over to Trendhunter to see a few more graphic images — including a woman giving a blowjob to a handgun. One more image, after the jump… Keep reading »
In Nigeria, a government program is trying to stop the spread of AIDS by … encouraging HIV-positive people to marry each other. The idea is that if they’re married, they won’t be as likely to spread the disease to others. And they’re giving serious incentives for tying the knot. In exchange for an “HIV-marriage,” the agency will pay a couple’s dowry, and even provide them with counseling and employment assistance. There is no actual evidence that these marriages reduce the spread of AIDS, but some couples do note serious benefits of marrying another person with HIV. Some have said that their marriage has provided them with a support group and reduced the stigmatization associated with this disease. Keep reading »
For the first time ever, researchers have decoded the complete HIV virus genome. This wasn’t an easy feat, because HIV carries its genetic information on RNA instead of DNA which is more complex because it’s 3D. This is a very big deal because now scientists will have a much better understanding of how HIV works. They can zoom in on different pieces of the virus and see which parts do what. Researchers can, hopefully, use this info to figure out why the virus is able to go undetected in the human host for so long and why it’s immune to so many drugs. Scientists also plan to alter or mutate parts of the genome and see if the virus notices. If they can find a mutation that effs up how HIV functions or makes it grow slower, well, that’s pretty exciting. [AFP]
As South Africa prepares to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the country is getting some attention for some not-so-positive news. Along with a high number of rapes, the country has long struggled to keep HIV/AIDS in check. With tourists pouring in for the huge soccer competition next June, the health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, expressed concerns that the influx could lead to an increase in cases:
“2010 is going to come with good things but it may also come with dangerous things….I mean, we will be having lots of visitors here… we know there will be lots of visitors who come here for sex, you can’t hide that. It happens and what will be the effects on this country?”
South Africa is home to the world’s largest AIDS epidemic, with about 5.7 million people infected with HIV. Hosting the World Cup is huge for South Africa and could be very beneficial. Hopefully, tourists visiting the country will practice safe sex if watching soccer isn’t enough activity for them; no one wants to take home a virus as their souvenir. [Reuters] Keep reading »