HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, which is the virus that causes HIV infection. HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. The loss of CD4 cells makes it difficult for the body to fight infections and certain cancers.
Without treatment, HIV can gradually destroy the immune system which advances to AIDS. HIV is commonly transmitted from having unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. One of those practices that fall under that subject is prostitution.
Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for a payment. Prostitution is illegal for most of the United States because of state laws rather than federal laws. It is, however, legal in some counties within the state of Nevada. Prostitution nevertheless occurs throughout the country. But in certain areas around the world like the Netherlands it is 100% legal. Claire E.
Sterk is an anthropologist “who works in a school of public health and is primarily interested in issues of women’s health, particularly as it relates to sexual behavior”. The main reason why she might be interested and motivated to work and learn about prostitution is because, In her homeland the Netherlands it is legal and regulated. De Wallen, the largest and most known Red-light district in Amsterdam, is a destination for international sex tourism. In her article on page 14 she mentions that “Sex workers or prostitutes have often been blamed for AIDS, and further criticized because, of their profession”. And many of these women didn’t chose this profession by choice but were “most often victims of circumstances such as violence and poverty”. For her to get more information about prostitution she decided to integrate herself into that culture by gaining people trust and developing relationships which is a method of methodology. The process of developing a relationship or trust between both parties will involve having them to get to know each other, accepting each other personalities, and engage in a mutual relationship.
In the beginning she obtain insight on where many of the women worked from taxi drivers, bartenders, and people from the neighborhood. She came to specific area multiple times to expand her maps but also allow the regulars to recognize her. One of the days while she was there one of the women walked up to her and they began a conversation which led to her taking a Streetwalker 101 test. Even though she passed the test many of the women approached her with suspicion because they thought she might be an undercover cop.
Over time they recognized that Clerk didn’t want to become a prostitute but wanted to learn about them. They felt “flattered that someone wanted to learn from them and that they knowledge to offer” (pg.16). One of Clerk’s most dangerous encounters in the field was when she encountered a pimp. She said “I knew to work through the pimps, and one such man had some his friends follow me on my way home one night. I will never know what plans they had in mind for me because fortunately I was able to escape with only a few bruises” (pg.16 “Developing Relationships and Trust). She figured out a year later that she upset one of the pimps and he wanted to teach her a lesson.
Clerk throughout her time on the field she demonstrated the concept of Cultural Relativism. According to Khan Academy.org “Cultural relativism refers to not judging a culture to our own standards of what is right or wrong, strange or normal. Instead, we should try to understand cultural practices of other groups in its own cultural context.
One example of that in the article was when Clerk was able to tell many women that she wanted to learn from the prostitutes. Most people would say prostitutes know nothing, and prostitution was their choice; Instead Clerk wanted to know how and why these women got into prostitution.