Mapping of sex workers in Tirana
Our social analysis involved 53 sex workers. The major part of the sex workers are illiterate (31%) or they have just finished the elementary school (24%) and the middle school (38%).
They are mostly are abandoned from their families and they live in abandoned surroundings (in the railwayís stations caravans, in opened environments they invented by themselves in order to live, in rent houses, etc.
Some of them live with their childrenís, and three sex workers even keep their children in the same place where they have sex relationships with their clients. Therefore this brings a lot of risks for the children because they can imitate or model behaviours, attitudes, and the profession of the parent they are living with.
According to the sex workers the reasons of why they have chosen this profession are the economic difficulties and from the other part the interviewed transvestites expressed that there is an interior feeling and process the reason of choosing this typical lifestyle.
Better part of sex workers operate without a pimp (21% report that they have a pimp) and the have chosen by their self not to be supervision by their pimps. They prefer working alone because most of the time they are abused by their pimps and they are forced to work longer without the possibility to choose their clients.
34% of sex workers reported that had began sexual relationships at an early age (13 years old). 7% of them report that had began sexual relationships at the age of 10 years old. The lack of sexual nobility and psychological development has made them more vulnerable and also made them accept in an easy way the fact of being a sex worker.
Beginning sexual relationships at an early age is influenced also from other factors as the:
Those increase the probability to be a sex worker in the future.
Sex workers have a strong attraction towards the other members of the group.
Some of the areas frequented from the commercial sex workers are:
As the sex workers work in groups, these areas are safer for them and also help them protecting each other from the maniacs. After the end of the sexual act, time and again they have been violated and maltreated by maniacs. The insecurity and the violent practices from the clients have made them tightly bound with each other and they also interfere to protect each other.
Sex workers work after 22.00 pm. These are timetables when people movements are limited and they are not identified or prejudge for the work they practice
The payment they receive from clients varies from 300 up to 500 lek for person (11%), from 500 up to 1000 lek (7%), from 1000 up to 2000 lek (61%). There are different modes to attract the client as provocation, staying in the areas that are also known by the clients, through the pimps, friends or telephones.
Majority of them (61%) express that since having a lot of years of experience they are known by their clients and so they are the clients themselves that want to contact them.
Sex workers choose by their self the place where they are going to have the act, because they are afraid from the clientís violation. The places they choose are safe and they feel protected (motels, house, open places, lake, under the bridge, ecc).
Sex workerís clients are from different ages and groups (married singles, widows, elders, teenagers-that have sexual relationships for the first time educated, uneducated etc.).
21% of sex workers express that in Tirana there are nearly 100 sex workers. The interviewed sex workers work in the street, so the numerical dataís they declare refers to the category of sex workers working in the streets.
The problems the sex workers run up against
Most of the sex workers express that they are violated by the clients, they are not protected and secure during their work. 25% of the sex workers report that their clients have violated them, 25% report that the clients didnít pay money and 28% of them report that clients had done the sexual act without their will . From the other part the police increase the pressure toward sex workers. Meanwhile the transvestite declare that in a lot of cases they are violated even from the police
Periodically the police inspect the areas where the sex workers work. Police inspections are sporadic and not permanent. This makes sex workers stay in a permanent frightened state because of the sudden controls of the marshals.
96% of sex workers think they should use condoms because they are afraid of taking infections / or different diseases as they frequent various clients. There are cases when they donít use condoms because they have no money to buy those (31%), they choose which partner they are going to use the condom with. They are more paid from the partner or the client who forcibly wants unprotected sexual relationships. (When some clients come near to me and ask me to me to have sexual relationships without condoms, I am afraid of accepting because i donít know what disease may the other have Ė says V)
66% of the sex workers report that they havenít done any medical visits.
Some of the reasons why could not provide medical visits are:
Use of drugs by sex workers
31% of sex workers report the use of drugs (mainly heroine). Meanwhile around 44% of them affirmed they exchanged syringes during the use of drug. The use of drug is a factor for more risks for them, makes them careless for the use of condoms during the sexual act and also increases the risk from HIV infection.
Considering that 44% of them affirmed that they have exchanged syringes during the use of drug signifies they donít have the appropriate information regarding the ways of HIV transmission.
48% of sex workers had thought about doing the HIV/AIDS test and this is related with the participation in risky behaviors as unprotected sexual relations or the exchange of syringes during the use of drug.
The main reason why they donít want to do the test of HIV/AIDS is because they are afraid of being prejudiced (35%). Considering the fact that sex workers have heard about HIV/AIDS this doesnít mean they have the right information for this illness .This is explained with the fact that most of them are involved in risky behaviors that increase the probability for HIV/AIDS infection.
The institutions that offer services for sex workers are absent, they mainly provide partly by themselves or when the needs are immediate. They hadnít benefited services from NGOís or national structures except from Aksion Plus.
Sex workers needs