PITCH Sex Work Kenya HOYMAS
PITCH Sex Work Kenya HOYMAS
HOYMAS (Health Options for Young Men on HIV/AIDS & STI) is a male sex worker-led organisation, strengthening the men who have sex with men (MSM) and male sex work community in Nairobi. HOYMAS provides training on advocacy, communication and human rights violations documentation. Together with KESWA HOYMAS is developing and implementing a national advocacy plan for sex workers. HOYMAS opposes stigma and discrimination by organising sensitisation workshops for police officers, journalists, healthcare providers and religious- and community leaders. Using a mobile phone app to monitor and document human right violations, real-time data for advocacy work towards decriminalisation of sex work is provided. HOYMAS also works towards strengthened partnerships with civil society organisations, journalists, human right organisations, policy makers and other key population organisations.
Nairobi , Kiambu, Machakos , Nyeri , Narok Counties
Partners under PITCH aim to beat the AIDS epidemic in countries that are most affected by HIV. If sex workers have equal access to HIV-related and sexual and reproductive services, if equal and full rights for sex workers are realised and if a strong civil society exists then sex workers will be able to work under safe conditions. Specific outcomes of HOYMAS work are a strong MSM and male sex work community and sensitised key stakeholders like police, media and health care providers working towards increased rights for sex workers.
20 stakeholder organisations are engaged with advocacy planning. 20 male sex workers will be supported with paralegal training; 180 police officers, journalists, local government leaders and religious leaders will be sensitized and 65 community representatives will participate in County Technical Working Groups on key populations (Pangani, Nairobi Kenya, Kiambu, Machakos, Nyeri, Narok Counties).
Kenyan sex workers deal with a lot of violence, stigma and discrimination. There is lack of data about sex workers' lives and health. Sex workers have trouble accessing their rights and health services within the current political and religious climate. Despite Kenya’s strong political commitment to the overall HIV response, there is little progress in decriminalisation of sex work and there is limited funding for HIV work.
In Kenya, 1 in 4 sex workers experience physical or sexual violence and 44% of sex workers are affected by arrests, intimidation and physical violence perpetrated by police. HIV prevalence in Kenya’s counties range from 2% to 26%, with 80% of the national HIV burden concentrated in 20 out of 47 counties. A lot of sex workers live with HIV: among female sex workers the HIV prevalence is 29% and for male sex workers HIV prevalence is 26.3%.