Improving access to SRH & HIV services for young sex workers in Kenya

Improving access to SRH & HIV services for young sex workers in Kenya

View all resources

Young sex workers face severe stigma and discrimination, a barrier to accessing HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services. The fear of violence and stigma forces this population to go underground and become invisible. Judgmental attitudes, threats of eviction or public disclosure, social isolation, and violence perpetrated by clients, law enforcement officers, religious leaders, and their own families stop young sex workers from accessing health care services. YSW exhibit a high rate of dependence on alcohol and substance abuse. This impacts their risk perception, making them more likely to face violence or engage in unprotected sex. Young sex workers are unaware of ways to seek assistance without exposing themselves to the risk of further harassment. The Young, Wild and… Free? research and Upinion surveys with young sex workers highlighted the need for stigma- and discrimination-free services in which the rights of young sex workers are respected.

In 2020, HOYMAS undertook a youth-led participatory study in Nairobi and Nyeri Counties to analyse and identify the health needs of YSW. A total of 94 in-depth interviews and three focus group discussions were conducted with young sex workers. The study findings informed the development of a specialised package of HIV and sexual and reproductive health and rights services for young sex workers. The tailormade package targeted issues specific to young sex workers such as violence, high HIV and STI prevalence and challenges in accessing SRHR services, stigma and discrimination. The research resulted in recommendations to healthcare providers, implementing partners and policymakers on providing proper preventative responses and policies appropriate for working with and for sex workers below the age of 24.

Improving access to SRH & HIV services for young sex workers in Kenya

Aidsfonds.org uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.