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Some controversial advertisements that were rejected as billboards are now displayed on 50 Muni buses throughout San Francisco, the Bay Citizen reports.
The ads, sponsored by St. James Infirmary, show a series of people posing for tasteful, clothed portraits, with text that reads "Some of us are sex workers. Some of us provide health care to sex workers. Some of us are family members of sex workers. Someone you know is a sex worker."
St. James Infirmary on Mission Street is a health care clinic for sex workers and their families. It was founded in 1999 by a prostitutes' rights activist and now serves about 500 patients each year. Its services include HIV testing, needle exchanges, counseling, food and clothing, according to its website.
“This is about humanizing us,” said executive director Naomi Akers.
The clinic originally wanted the ads up on billboards, but the billboard companies rejected them because the term "sex worker" wasn't family friendly and didn't meet community standards.
That's when they turned to Muni, which apparently didn't have the same hesitation.
“When you’re on the side of a bus, that brings a kind of legitimacy to the work of the clinic," said Rachel Schreiber, a volunteer there.
The ads are scheduled to be on the busses until Nov. 11.