Senegal 2005

Ndeyea lives in Saint Louis and is 27 years old. Her son’s father left her and went to Italy. Her father is ill and her siblings are too young to work, so she has been forced to support her family. To do so, and in the absence of work, she prostitutes herself. Every weekend, she looks for clients in the city’s night bars. Most of these clients are tubabs, white tourists, because she can earn more money from them than from Africans. No one in her family knows that she is a prostitute. Prostitution in Senegal is not legal, but it is allowed as long as they are registered in a referral centre and respect the compulsory medical follow-up. Ndeyea prefers to do it clandestinely; “it’s more discreet and every six months I get tested for HIV/AIDS”. The sex trade remains the main driver of the epidemics in West Africa.