Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Kenya HOYMAS

Bridging the Gaps Sex Work Kenya HOYMAS


HOYMAS (Health Options for Young Men on HIV/AIDS & STI) is a male sex worker-led organisation, strengthening the men who have sex with men (MSM) and male sex work community in Nairobi. HOYMAS provides training on advocacy, communication and human rights violations documentation. Together with KESWA HOYMAS is developing and implementing a national advocacy plan for sex workers. HOYMAS opposes stigma and discrimination by organising sensitisation workshops for police officers, journalists, healthcare providers and religious- and community leaders. Using a mobile phone app to monitor and document human right violations, real-time data for advocacy work towards decriminalisation of sex work is provided. HOYMAS also works towards strengthened partnerships with civil society organisations, journalists, human right organisations, policy makers and other key population organisations.

Project details

Time frame
01 January 2016 - 31 December 2020
€ 507,090
Active in

Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Nyeri, Narok Counties

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Partners under the Bridging the Gaps programme aim to end AIDS among key populations. If civil society is strengthened, if fulfillment of human rights for key populations is increased and if sexual and reproductive health is improved and HIV transmission reduced, governments will be hold to account and AIDS among key populations can end. Specific outcomes of HOYMAS include increased access to health services for male sex workers and a strong sex worker movement across Kenya.

Community groups

HOYMAS will reach over 2.200 male sex workers and men who have sex with awareness activities. 300 male sex workers will be reached in the monthly creative spaces and with home based care and treatment services. 160 male sex workers will be trained in leadership and 280 in legal provisions and human rights regulations. 110 health centre staff will be sensitized on sex workers' rights as well as 220 establishment owners, police officers and local government staff. HOYMAS implements activities in Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Nyeri and Narok Counties.


Kenyan sex workers deal with a lot of violence, stigma and discrimination. There is lack of data about sex workers lives and health. Sex workers have trouble accessing their rights and health services within the current political and religious climate. Despite Kenya’s strong political commitment to the overall HIV response, there is little progress in decriminalisation of sex work and there is limited funding for HIV work.

In Kenya, 1 in 4 sex workers experience physical or sexual violence and 44% of sex workers are affected by arrests, intimidation, and physical violence perpetrated by police. HIV prevalence in Kenya’s counties range from 2% to 26%, with 80% of the national HIV burden concentrated in 20 out of 47 counties. A lot of sex workers live with HIV: among female sex workers the HIV prevalence is 29% and for male sex workers HIV prevalence is 26.3%.

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