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Saturday, November 21, 2015

LETTER TO MALIKA SAAR

When you're spear heading a campaign that stopped arresting juvenile prostitutes - you also stopped mandatory HIV/AIDS testing that prostitutes are required to get when arrested.  Because of your campaign, there are no statistics for HIV for juvenile prostitutes for 2015 available.  Nothing to contrast with any other rates of HIV to see if the number is growing or lessening.  Nothing which can be used to even help get an estimate done so any grants can be applied for in order to do outreach.

I've been wondering to myself for a while now "who is trying to cover up the HIV rates in prostitutes?" and now I know.

I hope you're happy with yourself Ms. Saar.  http://traffickingandprostitutionservices.blogspot.com/2015/11/charlie-sheen-and-hiv-infection-of.html  The reason why I've been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for a while now knocking on any door that I can on behalf of these women is because everyone is just acting like they don't exist = while I'm getting more and more and more calls from women who tell me they're HIV positive in Los Angeles.  I have said very clearly in my blogs, postings, and letters since day one I relocated back to Los Angeles because of the increase in calls I'm getting from those who are HIV positive in the sex industry.

Are you aware Ms. Saar how much it costs to get an HIV test?  Especially if they had insurance and even with insurance IF they wanted to report it on their own insurance in their own name. Why is this an issue?  Because if you're caught prostituting after you've been told you're HIV positive - you can be charged with attempted manslaughter.  That's why most sex workers who can't quit aren't willing to get tests done on their insurance in their own names.  Meaning they're only going to do free anonymous tests - or nothing at all.  If they CAN get them done in the first place.  

Are you aware that most sex workers don't have cars of their own nor drive?  Certainly they aren't going to be taken to a test site where they can get a free anonymous HIV test by any group I"m aware of OTHER THAN OURS at the moment because ever since 2003 - all federal and faith based funding has blocked and shunned any group who does HIV testing of any kind or even speaks about it.  Leaving us left.

So while you're pouring all that press into speaking to Russell Simmons and the CNN and Cosmo about the labels people use  - I know we're looking at another HIV epidemic.  Only how am I supposed to get the word out with you soaking up all the press and cutting us out?  Don't think I don't have statements from reporters telling me they've been told they'll be fired or "never work again" if they even mention our name.  John McCain, the California Endowment, and everyone else connected with your campaign holds a lot more clout than a group of recovering sex workers does operating on their own time and their own funding.  

Should we have our members who are HIV positive step forward and incriminate themselves?  How about when they have clients who would see them dead rather than go to the press with news like that?  Where does that leave them with recourse other than me speaking for them?

I asked you if we could be included in your media campaign and now I can speak freely about why I think you refused now that Charlie's come clean.    There's only one group of people I know of trying to silence us Ms. Saar and it's not the women affected by this issue.

Are you aware I see not one word about Wilethema being tested for HIV ?  Thing is REAL survivors coming into our program are TERRIFIED they have it.  It's the only thing they can think about until they get their test results.  It's not like the pimps let them use protection nor got them tested.  If anything, they charge more for the "girlfriend" experience - which is a fancy trade term for not using condoms.

Meaning coming into recovery - these women are terrified until they first test and it's the only thing mind until they hear the news.  I know because I'm sitting up with them until 2:00 a.m. until we can arrange testing or transportation for them.

So how come your survivor hasn't said one single word in any interview about her fear of HIV after her "rescue"?  I've scoured her interviews and if anything the only thing I've seen her talk about is that now she's in recovery she's now "gets off on being choked like her traffickers used to do to her".  Only not one word about her fear she was HIV positive coming into recovery.  Now if you'd included ANY real survivor certainly I"m aware of - then I think you would have heard they are a lot more concerned about that than whether some outsiders identify them as a "prostitute" or a "victim".

I haven't been able to be more aggressive about how I'm aware of this until now thankfully Charlie Sheen has said something so I don't have to worry about being accused of "blackmailing" anyone by pushing on the issue of the HIV status of victims in California.

So now it's in the open I'd love to hear your answers to any of these questions Malika.  Especially why you're more concerned about a label then you are the fact I'm certainly hearing a record number of survivors report to me they're HIV positive.  So many I've relocated back here to Los Angeles to do something about it because they said "no one is listening".  It seems you aren't either.

Why not?  If you're "elevating the voice of a survivor" - then how come not this concern?  I'd love to hear your answer on that point.  .

Jody Williams
www.sexworkersanonymous.com

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