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Gays, sex workers mark World Aids day

Gays and sex workers in Nairobi marked this year World Aids day on Sunday with a demand for condoms to be availed in lodging rooms.

The group said condom dispensers located in various places are not readily available.

The group also wants to be given formal recognized in order to reduce their helplessness when sexually harassed by clients.

They cited sexual harassment as a key driver of new HIV infections.

“The biggest challenge we are facing in HIV prevention is harassment from the police, violence from clients and condom accessibility, availability and affordability,” said Caroline Njoroge.

Gays and sex workers cleaning up Kasarani medical health centre. PHOTO | BERNADINE MUTANU
Gays and sex workers cleaning up Kasarani medical health centre. PHOTO | BERNADINE MUTANU

The group marked the World Aids Day by cleaning the Kasarani Medical Health Centre.

“We felt it is our right to come and celebrate World Aids Day by washing a public hospital,” said Kenya Sex Workers Alliance national co-ordinator Felista Abdalla.

They chose a public hospital in order to improve relations with health care providers who she said have on occasion stigmatized sex workers.

“New health care providers do not understand issues to do with sex workers. They practice open discrimination,” she said.

She said the situation has improved a little since the government published a manual detailing how healthcare providers should handle sex workers.

“We are here to show other sex workers hiding out there that we have a space at our own public clinics. We intent to make them more friendly because we are getting services, not the way it used to be previously,” she said.