Honduras – Forced identity – HIV&AIDS

Honduras – Forced identity – HIV&AIDS

Honduras – Forced identity – HIV&AIDS

The HIV/Aids epidemic is generally concentrated in high-risk populations such as men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, prisoners, the Garifuna (an Afro-Caribbean population group) in the case of Honduras, street children and the security forces.

Honduran homosexuals and transsexuals are common victims of family, church, political and even police harassment, hindering most from outing themselves. The number of violations of gay and lesbian human rights is increasing more rapidly than the number of organizations protecting them.

In San Pedro Sula, the country’s second largest city, AIDS has infected 5.5% of the population. In the early stages of the epidemic, Honduran men accounted for most infections. Now, women account for 30% of the cases. It is the leading cause of death among child-rearing women, and the second leading cause of hospitalization among adults. Many of these infections are from prostitutes who work in brothels throughout the country.

There is also evidence of child prostitution in Honduras, particularly in tourist and border areas. Honduras serves as a source and transit country for children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.

“Escarlet Rubi” is a 12 year old transsexual boy that lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He was raped at the age of five, now he is a transsexual and works as a sex worker.

Because he was gay he was kicked out of his family house and had to start working in the streets of San Pedro Sula at the age of nine. Since then “Scarlet Ruby” has been making a living out of prostitution with the help of other transsexuals who help dress him and teach him how to survive.

He started living in a very poor neighborhood, he found a cheap room and started living there with Maras. At the same time he was taking care of a sick family in exchange for the fee of the room.
He started to dress as a woman and started working in the streets, charging 300 lempiras (10 Euros aprox.) for a blow job, 500 Lempiras (17Euros) for sex.
“Scarlet Ruby” normally earns between 300 and 700 Lempiras every night.

The mother of “Scarlet Ruby”, wants him back home, she does not want to see her son being sexually abused anymore. His mother, and his small sister are both HIV positive, she was infected by her unfaithful husband whom infected her and the sister was born with HIV.

“Scarlet Ruby” is now addicted to marihuana, alcohol and crack and has to earn a living working in the streets of San Pedro Sula, Honduras’ second largest city and a major manufacturing centre. It is also regarded as the country’s most violent city, especially at night. Police have taken “Scarlet Ruby” off the streets several times, but after some days he is always released because he is a minor.
Some 200 homosexual and transsexual sex workers were murdered between 1991 and 2003.
Pep portrayed Transsexuals, that work as commercial sex workers and the daily life of “Scarlet Ruby”, smoking crack, getting dressed as a transsexual, working in the streets at night, and finally visiting his mother.