What Matters to Us:  Health
Tips and information for sexual and personal health

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually Transmitted Infections   A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is an infection passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Generally, STIs are spread by exchanging infected bodily fluids such as semen, precum, vaginal fluids, menstrual or other blood during unprotected oral, vaginal or anal sex. Most affect the reproductive system: left untreated some like syphilis can cause death in the latent stage and some like HIV affect the immune system. Some STIs, such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia are caused by bacteria and can be cured while others such as herpes and HIV are viruses and though treatable are listed as incurable.   Signs of STIs are mo...

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Protecting Your Asset

  Protecting Your Asset   Like any job, it is important that care is taken to protect one’s employment. For the average worker, this may include getting to work on time, ensuring jobs are completed efficiently and effectively and keeping good health, among other things. For the sex worker, work is all about the body. Taking care of this asset (body) should rank high. It is therefore important that sex workers protect their asset. A sexually transmitted infection (STI) affects your health and ability to work. Once you are not working, it means loss of money.   It is therefore important to the business that sex workers care enough about their body to ensure it is healthy: So how can you p...

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Checking Your Clients

  Checking Your Clients     Checking male clients for visible signs of STIs Make sure your client feels comfortable by explaining that the check is for their health as well as yours. Let them know you do it with everyone - including regulars. Clients usually appreciate the health check. Karen says she has many returning clients because they say she “makes them feel special”, “teach them things they did not know” and letting them know she “cares about them”.   {youtube}7CIVUSPavW0{/youtube}     Where to look Check mouth for sores and blisters Hold the client’s penis in your hand and examine for sores or bumps. If there is hair around the genital area, rub your fingers in it a...

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Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

  Tools of the Trade   Condoms Did you know that condoms offer the best protection against most sexually transmitted infections?  Yes, they do. Condoms prevent the exchange of bodily fluids during sex. There are, however, some STIs that the condom does not protect against. These are herpes, warts and syphilis. The condom does not protect against these infections as it only covers the shaft of the penis and external genitalia of the female. These STIs are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact. The cervix or anus and the penis are protected by condom but the surrounding skin is not. It is therefore important that you check your client to ensure there are no outw...

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Mental Health

  Taking Care of Your Mental Health   In sex work there is always a great deal of emphasis on sexual health, although our emotional and mental well-being are just as important. Healthy thinking and feeling good about ourselves increase the likelihood of us buying into safer practices with clients.   As sex workers, we must not neglect our mental and emotional well-being. We know that this is especially so in the environment of secrecy and the legal obstacles of sex work in the Caribbean. Navigating the police, ‘bikers’ or straight men who attack gay men in Jamaica; clients who refuse to pay or are abusive; standing on the streets all night wi...

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