COSWOHI at #ICASA2019 Present Lessons Learnt in Working with Sex Workers in Urban Slums

The results of the intervention carried out among Female Sex Workers in Oyo State by COSWOHI with funding support from the Global Fund HIV New Funding Model (NFM) project revealed that:

  • There is a high prevalence of HIV among Female Sex Workers in urban slums in Oyo State.
  • Access to treatment requires comprehensive services for sex workers, including actions to overcome stigma and discrimination.
  • Treatment adherence among FSWs has powerful behavioural determinants and is reinforced by FSW-friendly services, peer support, and a supportive policy and legal context.
  • Consistent condom use offers FSWs additional protection from HIV-infected clients who may or may not be on treatment and virally suppressed.
  • FSW-friendly services, including STI and sexual health care, can reduce other STIs, which increase HIV susceptibility.

This findings and lessons learnt were made known today in Kigali, Rwanda by Nwabrije Emmanuella Lovelyn – the Executive Director of Committed Soul Women Health Africa Advocacy Initiative (COSWOHI) at the on-going International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA).

According to Nwabrije Lovelyn, the project was carried out in mapped FSWs hotspots in slums in Ibadan, Ogbomosho, Saki and Oyo. She said that the program worked through key stakeholders, gatekeepers and community outreach workers, Counsellor/Testers and Case Managers to counsel, test, refer and link HIV positive FSWs to care.

“Friendly ART One-Stop-Shop (OSS) was also set up to provide “In and Off Facility” (free access and at no costs) treatment and care” . Required lubricants and condoms were provided and determined through forecasting. The program established two Female Sex Workers ‘ led HIV Support Groups in Ibadan and Ogbomosho. Drug refills and pick up was done with the help of the Case Managers. and through the Support Groups.

See the link below for the abstract

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