A participatory youth-led research on the needs of young key populations in Kenya

A participatory youth-led research on the needs of young key populations in Kenya

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Do young key populations in Kenya have access to sexual & reproductive health services?

In 2020, worldwide 65% of people who contracted HIV were sex workers, gay men and other men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, transgender people or their sexual partners. They are at increased risk of HIV because of criminalisation, stigma, discrimination and violence. If you are young and from a key population, this vulnerability is aggravated by criminalising laws, unfavourable policies, and different social expectations. That is why young people account for a disproportionate number – around one third – of all new HIV infections worldwide in people over 15 years of age.

To address this, young key populations need access to good quality HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and harm reduction services. However, young key populations experience barriers that hamper their access to these services. In 2020, three young researchers from HOYMAS, a sex workerled organisation in Kenya, carried out participatory research with 94 young sex workers to understand what influences them to access HIV and SRHR services. This research is part of the Young, Wild and… Free? project (2019-2021), which supports young key populations to increase access to and uptake of HIV, SRHR, and harm reduction services in Russia, Kenya, South Africa, and Vietnam. Three young key population representatives were in the lead of the research process and guided this summary report, after receiving training in research skills from partners in the Bridging the Gaps programme (2011-2020), which is the parent programme of Young, Wild and… Free?

A participatory youth-led research on the needs of young key populations in Kenya

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