Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Who in their right mind would do this as a vacation in this day and age?

Older white women join Kenya's sex tourists

Yes, let's go to Africa, the epicentre of the world's AIDS epidemic, and have as much sex as we can, trolling down the beaches for studly young men. It doesn't have to be Africa, of course--Asia's sex trade is also very dangerous, as it is pretty much everywhere these days in terms of HIV and Hepatitis, plus a whole host of other sexually transmitted diseases. But going to a country with a 6.9% AIDS rate to go have unprotected sex (condoms seem too 'businesslike' for some women's fantasies, according to the article) with strangers?

Or am I being a prude? It just seems, well, stupid, and it doesn't matter if the people doing it are young, old, white, black, whatever--HIV doesn't discriminate.

Speaking of the sex trade, I also came across this:

Teen suicide spurs war on child prostitution

Authorities are cracking down in Atlanta, which has become a hub for child prostitutes, many lured into sex with men in other towns and then brought against their will to work for pimps. Girls (and I'm sure, boys, too) are bought and sold from pimp to pimp, and the men having sex with them (perhaps from layovers at the busy international airport) aren't having a normal money-for-sex relationship with women who are consenting--they're having sex with 12-year-olds, making them predators and paediphiles.

The only facility in the country for rehabilitating former child prostitutes is near Atlanta. The city is seeking to open another, especially in the wake of Samantha Walker's suicide. Walker, from Toledo, OH, was lured into prostitution in Toledo at 15 and taken against her will to Atlanta. She testified against a man who forced her to have sex at a rest stop and then took her back to his hotel, from which she escaped. He was convicted of forced imprisonment and solicting sex with a minor. A few weeks after the trial, unable to get a placement at the rehabilitation centre, she had returned to Toledo and facing the shame of being a child prostitute, killed herself at the age of 18. The courts aren't set up for dealing with the Samantha Walkers of the world, and the system therefore fails to keep these young girls from continuing as prostitutes into adulthood, or worse, succumbing to drugs and sexually-transmitted diseases. The shady world of prostitution is bad enough as it is--but it shouldn't involve children. These kids deserve to keep their childhoods and not be jaded before they can drive. I'm sure just about any relatively large city has some experience with this issue. Keep your eyes and mind open to the fact that sexual slavery exists in all sorts of places--because we refuse to see it. Sometimes it is young foreign women who are lured to private homes or brothels. Sometimes, as in Samantha's case, it is home-grown. Sex can be a wonderful thing--it shouldn't be the chain by which someone is bound and gagged.

And remember, today is World AIDS Day. Do something proactive--get a test, wear a condom, raise awareness with a ribbon, or donate to a charity. Educate yourself about safer sex and about the disease. Protect yourself--and have sympathy for others who have been exposed and ire for those who aid its spread, often by misinformation or actions such as drug dealing or pimping.

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