The Prostitute, the City, and the Virus
29 Pages Posted: 27 May 2020 Publication Status: Accepted
The present article has two goals. First, it seeks to establish, for non-specialized readers, the history of what we label “hygenization” in Brazilian urban and health policies and their intersections with the sale of sex and the prevention of pandemic disease. Secondly, we want inform readers as to how the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are being met within the context of this history, particularly by Brazil’s organized sex workers. By necessity and location, in this time of quarantine, our focus is on the city of Rio de Janeiro, which has historically provided an example for what has been called “the Brazilian model of urbanization”. We begin our article with a brief overview of this model and then proceed to a historical look at two prior pandemics, how they were dealt with and, in particular, their intersections with sex work. We finish by analyzing what the COVID-19 pandemic may mean for sex workers in Brazil in light of the country’s ambiguous public health traditions.
Keywords: Brazil, Prostitution, Hygenization, Health Policies, rio de janeiro
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