By Xiong Yuqing
In a worker's village in Gejiu, Yunnan province in SW China, many of the massage rooms and barbershops are known as the 'Red Light District'.
The sex workers here, who are dubbed 'woolen chickens' by native residents for knitting and embroidering while waiting for their customers , earn only 10 to 50 yuan once for their service.
Though scorned and abused by native residents, the prostitutes might be the only ones who still keep a job in this village.
There are over 500 sex workers around this area. Some of them are workers of nearby factories, and others are local farmers. Most of them are married.
Living such a low life as they do, many of them are infected with HIV. Gejiu, the 'tin town' in the old days, has now made the list of China's top 10 towns with highest rate of HIV infection.
Li Man is a member of 'Kucao', a non-governmental group dedicated to preventing HIV infection. She comes to the village to distribute condoms to the sex workers.
Since her arrival, about 48 sex workers have died of AIDS. Li said the bereaved seldom keep the dead's bone ash, because most of them are too poor to afford the cremation fee.
Gejiu was once prosperous for its stannary in 1950s. Factories were built here one after another, bringing in a large number of migrant workers. After decades of mining, the town finally turned exhausted and about 120,000 workers were laid off.