This will go along way in helping the sex workers during this COVID-19 hard times.
Key populations are defined groups who, due to specific higher-risk behaviours, are at increased risk of HIV irrespective of the epidemic type or local context. Also, they often have legal and social issues related to their behaviours that increase their vulnerability to HIV. These guidelines focus on five key populations: 1) men who have sex with men, 2) people who inject drugs, 3) people in prisons and other closed settings, 4) sex workers and 5) transgender people. People in prisons and other closed settings are included in these guidelines also because of the often high levels of incarceration of the other groups and the increased risk behaviours and lack of HIV services in these settings. The key populations are important to the dynamics of HIV transmission. They also are essential partners in an effective response to the epidemic (1).
Busia have been terrorized by a two man gang in full police gear stealing from patrons in bars and shops, bringing fear to residents of Busia county.
On Wednesday 26th of November 2014, it was just a normal day as any other , business was usual until 8.30pm when the power went off the whole town and it was raining heavily , the patrons at Sultana pub were enjoying their drinks and slow music when all of a sudden two men in police uniforms entered the pub, the patrons thought it was a normal routine patrol of the officer on duty, only to be told down! Down! And remove anything in you pockets. The patrons were robbed of any variable thing they had including their phones and money ,the smart phones were smashed and left on the tables, the other old fashioned phones were taken away, they took almost one and half hours in the pub.
After Sultana , they marched to the nearest pub “cheers” they entered through the back door the cheers security guard saw them and ran , took a motor bike to the police station , but the police on duty, told him to go and look for the police officers on duty(on patrol) , the thugs ordered the patrons to lie down , one of the patrons tried to hold the leg of the man who had a panga , but the one with the gun told him to try , he will see a long day, they had to cooperate , and like in Sultana they robbed them of all valuable , they took two hours , leaving Cheers , they entered the neighboring shops and took all the money the man had sold during the day ,air time, the M-Pesa money and the M-Pesa phone.
At around 2.30am ,they went to another club called Changes , it was a ladies night so the club was parked , it was hard for them to enter the club , when they were still standing outside , one of the lady who parks at changes went greeted them asked if they are new in town because she didn’t know them and yet she knows all the police at the police station , they didn’t answer her , she went on with her business , the manager of changes came out and saw them and he went to them , he asked the same question the lady had asked , they sensed that they have been noticed , they ordered every body to lie down, the manager thought it was a joke and refused to lie down , the gun man shot him on the thigh ,they walked off pushing a motor bike which they left a few meters away and went on foot using the yuonear guest house route.
Something hurting is that all this was going on and the police had been alerted but they didn’t act, now the big question is WHO WILL PROTECT US IF THE POLICE CAN’T?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
The monthly P/E meeting is always held at Busia survivor’s office through the collaboration of survivor and APHIAplus western . The peer educators bring their reports and share the challenges they faced in the field during the month.
The 28 th of October meeting started by a word of prayer from one of the P/E, the minutes were not read because the P/E didn’t have their September monthly meeting because they were having a training ,they went straight to the agendas of the day , we had visitors from NASCOP and OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE OF EAST AFRICA, thus we did not have the normal procedure
The visitor from NASCOP introduced herself and wanted to know if the P/E report she had left are helping them, some said yes , some said the writing was small and they were promised that it will be enlarged , generally she thanked the ladies for the good work.
OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE OF EAST AFRICA
The visitors introduced themselves and said that they are here to build and help on what we have to make our work easy . the challenges were put on hold till Thur because of time , the meeting ended with a word of prayer from one P/E.
During our meetings, we share information about the female and male condoms then we give out our reports and the numbers that has been given out. Thus gives the office the numbers of condoms distributed within the month.
We also do correct and consistent condom use demonstrations to sex workers at various hotspots. Also we give to our clients within there working stations. We advocate and promote safer sex practices to our peers and clients. We also conduct one on one session to our peers and clients.
1. Myths and misconceptions about condom
2. Incorrect condom use
3. Alcohol and drug influence that leads to improper choice decision.
Survivors’ organization distributes condoms in the whole of busia county.ie during our peer session, sensitization meetings, outreaches and mounting in all our hotspots condom dispensers.
The response on condom use turned out to be positive.
The access to condoms turned out to be positive.
Reduction of sexual transmitted infections.
The survivors organization have been holding sensitization meeting with the police and sex workers on a quarterly basis to air out the challenges that sex workers face while at work from the police officers .
Before this sensitization meetings , the sex workers could run whenever they saw the police officers even if they were not on the wrong , this always provoked the police officers to chase and arrest them.
The police officers have been arresting sex workers, take them to the police station ,then at night the police officers come and take the sex workers to their rooms, abuse them sexually without paying , then in the morning they return them to the cells. Sometimes when sex workers were arrested , the police officers used to ask for bribes, but due to the sensitization meeting the sex workers now know that they are not supposed to bribe the police ,but they would rather agree to go to court to get justice .
This meetings have helped the sex workers address their challenges with the police and it has resulted in the police working hand in hand with the sex workers .
This meetings with the police have helped the sex workers to know that they have rights and that this rights was being violated by the police officers , the police also came to know that they are not supposed to be arresting sex workers without a proper reason, the police also learnt that the sex workers can help them to arrest criminals because some of this criminals are the clients of sex workers.
This have resulted in the police putting a customer care desk where the sex workers can go and report any violation done to them.
Whenever a sex worker is arrested ,the police calls the organization that one of the members has been arrested ,this makes it easy for the organization to make follow ups even if the member is taken to court so that the fines can be paid.