The key population include: Female Sex Workers (FSWs), Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) and People Who Inject with Drugs (PWIDs). To reach out to the key population, IRDO has set up six Drop-In Service Centres (DISCs) in Alego Usonga, Asembo Bay, Bondo, Mbita, Sindo and Ugunja Sub Counties. These centers provide ‘safe space’ for key populations to receive comprehensive HIV/STI preventive care and treatment services.
The program focuses on strategies to reach the sub-population with risk reduction information and comprehensive HIV prevention, care and treatment, and economic empowerment to help ensure sustained, safer behaviour and long term peer education support services among them.
The strategy used is guided by the National Guidelines for HIV/STI Services for Sex Workers, developed by NASCOP.
The prevailing negative attitude towards homosexuality in Kenya has resulted in MSM having limited access to the necessary information and services required to assist them address their sexual and reproductive health needs. Men who have Sex with Men are often stigmatized by their families, employers and communities due to the fact that some of their behaviours and/ or practices are outlawed. Marginalization of the MSM from health services and social intolerance towards the sub-population makes them remain closed, further reducing effectiveness of interventions targeting them.
People Who Inject with Drugs (PWIDs) often share syringes making themselves a major driver of HIV/AIDS pandemic in Kenya. Drug addiction treatment reduces the frequency of drug use, which in turn reduces HIV risk behaviors and improves adherence to disease treatment regimes. Criminalization of behaviors of PWIDs coupled with the lack of updated data on this sub-population continues to compromise effective intervention and service delivery.
We conduct an active follow up on the cohort of PWIDs in Alego Usonga, Asembo Bay, Bondo, Mbita, Sindo and Ugunja sub counties, with the overall aim of reaching them with individual and small group level HIV preventive interventions that have been shown to be effective in reducing HIV transmission risk behaviors.