A new report has claimed that poor sex workers in Zimbabwe inject themselves with blood to get high.
The new trend known as flashblood or bluetoothing, requires a syringe full of blood being passed from someone who has just injected heroin to someone else who wants the drugged blood instead of heroin.
According to the report, sex workers in Murambinda are deliberately injecting themselves with addicts’ blood in a desperate effort to share the intoxication. The sex workers inject themselves with the intoxicated blood so that they can get high and confident enough to approach potential clients as well as to cater for their ever-changing sexual demands which of late have included anal sex and blow jobs.
Tafadzwa Dinga, a Microplanner under the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) funded Microplanning program being implemented by the National Aids Council (NAC) confirmed the development.
Young sex workers are taking drugs. When we ask them they usually don’t divulge that they use drugs but the evidence will be there. Some of the common drugs being taken by these youngsters include Gukka Makafela, Bronclear (Ngomwa) and Marijuana. We are also hearing that young sex workers are now injecting each other’s blood to get high. They take blood from an intoxicated peer and deliberately inject into themselves, we have been hearing of such cases of late and we are still investigating.
Another microplanner in Murambinda, Angela Matizanadzo said it was not unusual that sex workers in the district were drug users given the capricious sexual demands of their clients.
We are having a problem especially amongst our young sex workers. Some of them are new and can’t say no to certain demands. Of late, clients have been demanding anal sex and blow jobs. For experienced sex workers, they know that it’s risky to have anal sex and oral sex but our young girls are at a disadvantage.
Some sex workers in Zimbabwe have reportedly resorted to using bread packets as contraception as the price of condoms and basic essentials continues to rise.
A 21-year old sex worker from Mutare who spoke to Manica Post, revealed that she started sex work at 16, and bread packaging was being used as a substitute for condoms when sex workers face shortages.
Mutare medical practitioner Dr Tendai Zuze also bemoaned how thigh vendors have resorted to using bread packets as protection. Zuze who stated that bread packets are risky as it might not be strong enough to sustain the pressure of friction during intercourse, and can easily break and put the people involved at risk of transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.
iHarare also reported that sex workers at Dema growth point are now accepting buckets of maize and cups of beans as payment from their cash-strapped male clients.
Speaking to a local publication at Dema growth point in Seke rural, sex workers appealed to the government and other organisations for low-interest loans to start income-generating projects to fend for their starving families.
One of the sex workers, who only identified herself as Alice said;
“Gone are the days when we used to charge US$5 for the whole night. These days even one dollar is accepted, so that you are able to buy vegetables and tomatoes and cook something for your starving children.”
She said she has three children, one of which is doing Form 4. The child needs ZIMSEC (Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council) registration fees while the other kids are in Grade 7 and Grade One.
“I now even accept a bucket of maize or cups of dried beans as payment for sex services. At least I am assured that my kids will have porridge.”