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HIV highest among city sex workers

Commercial sex workers account for 14.1 per cent of the national HIV prevalence rate.

According to George Githuka of National Aids and STI Control Programme (Nascop), sex work is client-driven.

He gave an example of Eastleigh, saying sex workers are many in the area due to the high number of traders.

“That means a lot of money is in circulation. We have embarked on educating and sensitising the sex workers on how to use protection, especially the condom,” said Mr Githuka.

He said Nascop had developed a programme where the sex workers underwent testing every three months while those infected with HIV went for regular counselling and had been put under the antiretrovirals programme.

The latest HIV Modes of Transmission (MOT) analysis by World Bank and National Aids Control Council (Nacc), says the highest infections are within heterosexual unions or with people with regular partners.

It contributes to 44 per cent of new infections, followed by heterosexuals with casual partners or in multiple partnerships.

Profound effect

A report by Nascop says female sex workers and their clients account for 14.1 per cent of all new HIV infections nationally with Nyanza leading with 23.1 per cent while Nairobi’s sex workers contribute 14.7 per cent of new infections. Sex workers in Coast contribute to 18.2 per cent.

The UNaids report on the global Aids epidemic 2013 says the disease continues to have a profound effect on both male and female sex workers.

According to the report, female sex workers are 13.5 times more likely to be living with HIV than other women.