SEX WORKERS RIGHTS

When  sex work is criminalized, sex workers experience decreased control over the conditions of their work and they are subject to increased violence and discrimination. Survivors commitment to the decriminalization of  sex work is informed by our work with sex workers from the Busia Town, across Western and around the world. Decriminalization is a necessary step to protecting the safety and rights of sex workers by ensuring that they have full access to health, safety and human rights. In addition to law reform, Survivors is also committed to challenging oppressive social conditions that constrain women’s and M,S,M economic options. These social conditions include poverty, homelessness, addiction and colonization. All sex workers deserve to have their choices respected and be able to work safely, without fear of violence, discriminationand social stigma.landscapeReport

 

SURVIVORS ORGANIZATION, ADVOCATING FOR POSITIVE CHANGE

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Not only on human rights advocacy, we also advocated for health rights. We have been doing this for the past sixteen years, helping the entire western community in creating awareness in reduction of HIV new infection, reduction of stigma to zero percent and also share ring information on importance of knowing their health status.

This has enhanced a positive change where by we have been conducting health campaigns in various hotspots in the entire community in the western Kenya thus in Busia town, namable, samia and also Matayos.

Survivors Team setting the stage to conduct VCT Outreach at Matayos Market in Busia County.Kenya
Survivors Team setting the stage to conduct VCT Outreach at Matayos Market in Busia County.Kenya

 

One of the counselors attending to a client.
One of the counselors attending to a client.

Being a sex workers organization, at first we had a very big challenge where by the community had a negative attitude in terms of publicity, but through sensitization meetings with stakeholders, this has created positive impact and gave us a platform in achieving our mission and goals.

Since the community at large challenges that lead to the lost of our loved one’s , we felt it was our responsibility to ensure the key population (Female sex workers and Msm,s)know the facts on health issues especially on risk reduction plan.landscapeReport

Sexually Transmitted Diseases Overview (STDs)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs, venereal diseases) are among the most common infectious diseases in Africa today. STDs are sometimes referred to as sexually transmitted infections, since these conditions involve the transmission of an infectious organism between sex partners. More than 20 different STDs have been identified, and about 19 million men and women are infected each year in the Africa, according to the CDC (2010). Depending on the disease, the infection can be spread through any type of sexual activity involving the sex organs, the anus, or the mouth; an infection can also be spread through contact with blood during sexual activity. STDs are infrequently transmitted by other types of contact (blood, body fluids or tissue removed from an STD infected person and placed in contact with an uninfected person). However, people that share unsterilized needles markedly increase the chance to pass many diseases, including STD’s (especially hepatitis B), to others. Some diseases are not considered to be officially an STD (for example, hepatitis types A, C, E) but are infrequently noted to be transferred during sexual activity. Consequently, some authors include them as STD’s, while others do not. Some lists of STD’s can vary, depending on whether the STD is usually transmitted by sexual contact or only infrequently transmitted. STDs affect men and women of all ages and backgrounds, including children. Many states require that Child Protective Services be notified if children are diagnosed with an STD. STDs have become more common in recent years, partly because people are becoming sexually active at a younger age, are having multiple partners, and do not use preventive methods to lessen their chance of acquiring an STD. Seniors show a marked increase in STDs in the last few years as many do not use condoms. People can pass STDs to sexual partners even if they themselves do not have any symptoms. Frequently, STDs can be present but cause no symptoms, especially in women (for example, chlamydia, genital herpes or gonorrhea). This can also occur in some men. Health problems and long-term consequences from STDs tend to be more severe for women than for men. Some STDs can cause pelvic infections such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may cause a tubo-ovarian abscess. The abscess, in turn, may lead to scarring of the reproductive organs, which can result in an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy outside the uterus), infertility or even death for a woman. Human papillomavirus infection (HPV infection), an STD, is a known cause of cancer of the cervix. Many STDs can be passed from a mother to her baby before, during, or immediately after birth. Because the method of becoming infected is similar with all STDs, a person often obtains more than one pathogenic organism at a time. For example, many people (about 50%) are infected at a single sexual contact with both gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Depending on the disease, STDs can be spread with any type of sexual activity. STDs are most often caused by viruses and bacteria. The following is a list of the most common STDs, their causes. Additionally, there are other infections (see STDs with asterisk mark*) that may be transmitted on occasion by sexual activity, but these are typically not considered to be STDs by many investigators:

Always use a condom when having sexual intercourse.

Busia Unveils Plans to Fight HIV and Stigma

BUSIA county has unveiled a plan to eliminate stigmatisation and discrimination of teachers living with HIV-Aids.

The Journey to Zero campaign will educate teachers on the need to promote co-existence between them and their HIV positive counterparts.

The plan, whose implementation runs until 2019, will create awareness on the importance of timely testing, access to treatment, care and support for teachers living with the virus.

During the launch participants agreed that HIV-Aids affects the country’s workforce and its spread needs to be urgently addressed.

“We cannot continue burying our heads in the sand expecting things to change,” Busia Governor Sospeter Ojaamong’s wife Judithsaid at Amagoro Primary School on Friday said.

“We must come together in the fight against HIV-Aids if we want to succeed. Pulling together will enable us make a change.”

Busia is ranked among counties with the highest HIV-Aids prevalence rates.

The latest National Aids Control Council report ranks the county among the top ten counties with the highest prevalence rates standing at seven per cent.

The national prevalence rate is six per cent.

Magdalene Mwele, a Wellness Programmes Assistant Coordinator at TSC said the Teachers Service Commission has registered an increase in the number of teachers openly declaring their HIV-Aids status and who are were now beneficiaries of the various programmes the commission has for HIV positive teachers.

“The continued partnership between TSC and Kenya Network for HIV positive teachers has resulted in a steady increase of teachers who have visited the commission and voluntarily disclosed their HIV status,” she said.

A VISIT TO SURVIVORS ORGANIZATION BY USAID IN CONJUNCTION WITH APHIA PLUS WESTERN

     On 26th Jan 2015, Survivors organization heard visitors from US AID and APHIA PLUS  to document  success stories at survivors organization.The team has been funding survivors organization for the last 3 years also supporting projects with the aim of  reducing HIV  New Infections,Stigma and Discrimination,Peer Education, CPWP ,HT C,Cervical Cancer Screening, VMMC,Exchange Visit and among otherDSC06509 DSC06511

Survivors Organization  Members  sharing success stories
@Survivors Organization Busia Kenya,

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Survivors Organization Members sharing success stories
@Survivors Organization Busia.

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Survivors organization busia Community Organizationon facebook

Knowing Your Status And Advocating For Behaviour Change Keeps You At A Better Chance In Helping Our Community And Socierty Impliment And Reduce New Hiv/Aids Infections , Reduction Of Stigma& Discrimination Also Minimising New Hiv Relatade Deaths. Be A Hero By Sharering This Information With our Friends.

The P/E monthly report submission

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.

Sex workers addressing challenges faced

On 30th September, 2014 the sex workers called for a stakeholders meeting with their lawyer to address the challenges they face. Among the invited were;
• Club bouncers
• Health care providers,
• Sex workers
• Security guards
• Boda boda operators
• Bar managers
• Receptionists
• Lawyer
• Police officers
The meeting was to address some of the violations of sex workers rights that had been reported to the office which included, harassment by the bouncers from the club, rape cases by boda bodas, sex workers being sent away from bars with claims they do not want parking ladies, stigma from the community and especially the health care providers and finally police arrests and seeking for bribes.

Experience sharing from specific sex workers drove the message home which in turn touched the hearts of the invited guests who promised to provide support and be nice to sex workers. The touching story was of a particular bar which is a hot spot and he had banned sex workers from waiting for clients there, he agreed to support sex workers and lifted the ban. He even requested we help him locate one sex worker who had stolen from a client at the same bar of which we agreed to do so as long as we get the details of the girl.

Finally the meeting came to an end with a positive impact where every gate keeper promised to give support, the boda boda chairman gave out his contacts plus the ones for the security personnel to be called anytime a sex worker is in danger, the health care provider also gave his contact and agreed to treat the sex workers anytime they are at the health facility, the receptionists also agreed not to be selling the free condoms at the dispensers to the sex workers and finally the sex workers promised to be disciplined and stop stealing from clients!

Condom shortage in Busia town

We sex workers of Busia believe in our slogan of “condom is good all the time and all the time condom is good and that is our nature”! Surprisingly, we are not living to our slogan due to inadequate supply of condoms.

Our main condom supplier who are PS-Kenya together with the ministry of health have not been able to make the necessary deliveries for the past three months, which has made it impossible for sex workers to carry on with their business smoothly. To some extent, a few condom dispensers have been spotted having used sanitary pads and black notes due to being without condoms for long.

We have reached out to our partners who include; Ampath-plus, Busia wellness centre and the public health office but they also sing the same song like us ‘they do not have enough condoms’ they are waiting for new stock!

Kindly we are appealing to other partners and organization out there, who could be having some in store to help us please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

survivors conduct htc outreach in busia town

 

On 27/9/ 2014, survivors’ organization conducted HTC services in Busia town at Holiday Inn, in partnership with APHIA PLUS WESTERN KENYA. The aim of the HTC service was to test both the MSMs and FSWs so that they may know their status.

The activity started at 6pm where by the 8 mobilizes went round giving information on the importance of knowing one’s status. We managed to provide services to 113 (female 34 then male 79). We also managed to distribute 353 condoms. Surprisingly the majority of those who came for the test were MSMs; this means that the MSMs are out to know their status which is very good.
Mobilization team did their best to ensure the right and positive information was well facilitated.

Achievements
.We managed to reach a quite number of people
. Right and clear positive information on correct and consistent condom use was well spread.
Challenges

Having 10 counselors’ our target was 150 clients in which we were unable to reach .

It started raining early thus lead to low turn up of clients.