Who do you work with?:
Youth Alliance for Change Kenya work with young Men who have sex with Men (MSM) Sex Workers at-risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in kakamega Township, Kakamega County at large
How are sex workers involved in your organisation?:
Youth Alliance for Change Kenya adheres to its human rights based approach in planning and decision making. In this approach MSM and, Men sex workers and Female sex workers groups, we support are not just idle beneficiaries of projects but rights holders and active participants in the organizational leadership and decision making processes. ECP has an inclusive system ensuring that all the Sex workers groups, MSM, communities and individuals we work with are involved in decision making and that their inputs and feedback are a crucial element in this decision making as they form a basis for constructive planning and project adaptation.
Which of NSWP priority areas does your organisation work on?:
Advocate for universal access to health services, including primary health care, HIV and sexual and reproductive health services
Challenge stigma and discrimination against sex workers, their families and partners, and others involved in sex work
What are the two main challenges that the sex workers you work with face:
Stigma and Discrimination, in Kenya and societies are in denial about the fact that sex between MSM happens, and it is a taboo subject in many cultures. As a result of HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns often only talk about the risks of heterosexual sex, and there is little appropriate information available to (MSM), which can give them the false impression that they are not at-risk. As with female sex workers, male or transgender sex workers may find it difficult to persuade their clients to use condoms, or may be offered more money to have unprotected sex, increasing the risk that they will become infected with HIV/AIDS. In Kenya there is HIV/AIDS programs aimed at FSW, but few targeting (MSM) male sex workers. In Kenya where antiretroviral drugs are widely available, a climate of optimism about the effectiveness of this treatment may lead some (MSM and female sex workers) to take more risks. Dependence on one's family for emotional, economic and educational support often deters young men sex workers in particular from.
Describe other areas of your work:
Is to create a more conducive environment for men who have sex with men (MSM) to seek essential HIV/AIDS services and reduce structural barriers that make them vulnerable to STI and HIV by addressing barriers in accessing health services through sensitization of health workers to offer clinical services that meet the needs of MSM. Is to create awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment among young MSM sex workers so as to reduce the misconceptions surrounding MSM sex health needs. Advocacy, communication through engagement with Kakamega County government health stakeholders to increase commitment to provision of sexual reproductive health services to young men who have sex with men MSM and men sex workers at large.