Bridging the Gaps SW Kenya North Star Alliance - East Africa

Bridging the Gaps SW Kenya North Star Alliance - East Africa


North Star Alliance East Africa focuses on the provision of basic health care and safety to hard-to-reach populations such as sex workers. North Star Alliance works on improvement of access to basic health care services by providing services at roadside health clinics. The organisation also works towards improvement of linkage & referral systems and sensitisation and education of health staff and peer educators. North Star Alliance provides paralegal trainings in cooperation with the Kenyan Ministry of Health's AIDS and STI control programme & KESWA. They link sex work groups to national and local governments and advocate for the inclusion of sex worker rights in policy documents.

Project details

Time frame
01 January 2016 - 31 December 2020
€ 896,695
Active in
Kenya, Uganda


Partners under the Bridging the Gaps programme aim to end AIDS among key populations. If civil society is strengthened, if fulfilment 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. Outcomes of North Star Alliance include a strong national sex worker community that is aware of their own rights and increased access to sexual and reproductive health services for sex workers.

Community groups

Over 20.000 sex workers will have access to health services by using the services offered in the roadside clinics managed by North Star Alliance. 5.000 sex workers will be trained on human rights. North Star Alliance will work with partners such a KESWA, TASWA and WONETHA to reach more sex workers across the East Africa region.


Sex workers face high levels of violence, stigma, discrimination and other human rights violations. Sex workers in Kenya lack access to comprehensive services, especially to new prevention methods. In Kenya there is limited funding available for HIV work and interventions. Working towards the goal of decriminalisation of sex work, there is a need to build a stronger movement with other key population groups and to build upon existing partnerships with donors, community organisations and governments. There is a need for data about sex workers lives and health.

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. A total of 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 it is 26.3%.

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