Gold star Kenya is strategic partner in APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde, implementing the KPs program targeting female and male sex workers.
APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde is working with NASCOP and other partners to implement a comprehensive, integrated HIV and reproductive health program for sex workers in Rift Valley. The program is designed to address the specific needs of this population and to reduce their vulnerability to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
All interventions are informed by evidence and guided by the national Minimum Package of Services for Sex Workers.
How do we do our business? (OurProgram objectives)
- We provide health education and link sex workers to access integrated package of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and reproductive health services.
- We promote safer sexual behaviours for sex workers and clients to reduce the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV and STIs.
- . We create a supportive environment for behavior change by addressing underlying social factors that increase vulnerability such as poverty, gender-based violence and marginalization.
- We build the capacity of community organizations to implement comprehensive HIV prevention and health promotion interventions.
Our interventions for sex workers supported through APHIAplus, combine different but complementary strategies for maximum impact. Some of the key strategies are:
- Assessments to collect in-depth information on the number and situation of sex workers, including high-risk behaviours as well as social, cultural and economic factors that hinder or support adoption of safer behaviours.
- Strategic behavioral communication: Through the APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde we implement strategic Behavioral Communication interventions informed by theory and combines different evidence-informed approaches to promote healthy behaviours with regard to HIV, STIs, family planning and other health issues. This component includes risk assessment, risk reduction planning, skills training and condom promotion.
- We promote 100% Condom Use to prevent sexual transmission of HIV and other STIs among sex workers and the general population. Peer educators empower sex workers to insist on clients using condoms. The project works with the Public Health Department and other stakeholders to ensure:
- Provision of information on male and female condoms.
- Collaboration with establishment owners, law enforcement officers and other influencers to create an enabling environment to promote 100% condom use.
- Easy access to a reliable supply of free or affordable condoms and water-based lubricants for sex workers and their clients.
- Effective behavior change communication interventions to promote condom use.
- We establisheddrop-in centres to provide health care services responsive to the needs of the sex workers. Regular outreaches are organized in hotspots and sex workers referred to the drop-in centres and health facilities for services that include the following:
- HIV testing and counseling
- STI screening and treatment
- TB screening and referral to treatment
- HIV care and treatment
- Emergency contraception
- Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
- Substance-abuse assessment and treatment
- Reproductive health services
- Family planning
- Post-abortion care services
- Cervical cancer screening
- In partnership with National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP), APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde conducts short, focused and thematic orientation training and sensitization for service providers to enable them provide acceptable services that address the needs of sex workers while respecting their health and human rights. Service providers are mentored to strengthen their skills in interacting, counselling, and treating sex workers with compassion and care.
- Through the project we are able to address social issues affecting women in sex work, by giving them skills and opportunities for alternative livelihoods. Other activities include psycho-social support, family and social services and support to mitigate sexual violence.
- 7. We use a comprehensive and participatory monitoring system to promote the use of data for decision-making to improve services and project implementation.
The MARPs program is implemented by Gold Star Kenya under the APHIAplus Nuru ya Bonde project in Rift Valley. The program is implemented alongside other partners that include AMREF, LVCT, and the National Organization for Peer Educators (NOPE).