Forced Identity

Deylin and Manuel "la nelo" at their hotel room smoking crack. Deylin Monserrat is a transsexual commercial sex worker. She is HIV positive and lives in a small and destroyed hotel where she works and lives together with Manuel. Manuel Martinez "la negra" is a transsexual commercial sex worker and he is HIV positive. They booth are addicted to crack, marihuana and alcohol. San Pedro Sula, Honduras. May 2008. Photo by Pep Bonet

Deylin and Manuel “la nelo” at their hotel room smoking crack. Deylin Monserrat is a transsexual commercial sex worker. She is HIV positive and lives in a small and destroyed hotel where she works and lives together with Manuel. Manuel Martinez “la negra” is a transsexual commercial sex worker and he is HIV positive. They booth are addicted to crack, marihuana and alcohol. San Pedro Sula, Honduras. May 2008. Photo by Pep Bonet

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. Pep portrayed Transsexuals, that work as commercial sex workers and are HIV positive.

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