Recent media reporting on sex work in various African countries show that sex workers continue to be portrayed negatively. Media outlets are further stereotyping sex workers using unsavouraly labels as well as portraying them in negative light. For example, in Kenya, one media station said sex workers ‘prey’ on married men while another termed them as ‘greedy’.
Regional updates: Africa
Our members are listed on the left or you can click the red umbrellas on the map.
Regional Board Members
Phelister Abdalla (KESWA), Kenya
Aimée Furaha (UMANDE), Democratic Republic of Congo
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) is a pan-African network of sex worker-led national networks and national and local organisations led by and/or working with female, male and transgender sex workers. It was formed in 2009 by sex workers and women’s activists and non-governmental organisations and is now based in Nairobi, Kenya.
News articles from Africa region are listed below.
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) is co-organising a key populations pre-conference for this year’s International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in Zimbabwe.
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) sends condolences to the family and friends of Joel Gustave Nana, the immediate former Executive Director of African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHER), who passed away last month.
There are unique challenges for African trans sex workers in their lives and work. Two trans sex workers in Uganda and South Africa have shared the unique challenges they face, including transphobia. ASWA board member and trans sex worker from Uganda, Beyonce Karungi as well as refugee trans sex worker, Flavina from South Africa, have both shared their life stories in articles published recently.
PrEP should be easily accessible to sex workers in Nigeria as an HIV prevention tool, an activist has urged with the Nigerian Sex Workers’ Alliance. Writing for the HIVE, an online journal on sexual and reproductive health, the coordinator of the Nigerian Sex Workers Alliance, Narah (a pseudonym), said that sex workers are being left behind when PrEP is offered.
Sex workers in three Southern African countries are the first beneficiaries of a programme that will see provide free HIV self-testing kits. Population Services International (PSI) is rolling out oral-swab HIV self-test kits to sex workers and other key populations in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. According to PSI, the self-testing kits are important because many people have not been tested because of stigma or limited access to health care facilities.
Stigmatisation and discrimination of sex workers at hospitals has been identified as one of the key barriers in accessing health services, a study has shown.
The study, conducted by the Center for Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Research (CeSHHAR) indicates that, in some hospitals and clinics in Zimbabwe, sex workers face hostile reception from health care providers and this hampers their access to HIV related treatment and care.
Sex workers were joined by human rights activists in Nakuru County, Kenya in protest of the murder of four female sex workers. According to the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance (KESWA), seven sex workers have been killed over the past month. Members of KESWA suspect these are serial killings. Four sex workers were killed in the past week while three additional murders were only discovered when investigations were being conducted.
The African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) and the Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School, is set to train sex workers from 7 African countries on regional human rights procedures. The workshop will primarily focus on how African sex workers' rights organisations can use national, regional, and international human rights mechanisms to advance the sex workers' rights agenda on the continent.
A male sex work organisation based in Nairobi, Kenya is set to launch Africa’s first ever savings scheme by male sex workers. HOYMAS, a member of the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) and the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA), will launch the savings and credit scheme (SACCO) on September 11 at an event that will include representatives from UNAIDS, SOAAIDS, the Government of Kenya as well as other organisations.