Operations Cluster

Sex Workers

Programme Description

Kheth’Impilo’s sex worker project aimed to mitigate risk and prevent HIV and violence in this high-risk population of women and transgendered women through peer-based outreach and support, a key enabler for peer programming were the peers themselves who offer personal attributes in combination with a knowledge base and skill set. It is well documented that street based sex workers are frequently faced with difficult circumstances brought by social marginalization, criminalized work environments, homelessness, unemployment, poverty, violence, mental health issues and problematic substance use or dependency. These circumstances can lead to high risk behaviours involving sex acts and substance use.

Several elements contribute to the disproportionately high risk for HIV infection among sex workers, and for the transmission of HIV among them and their clients and extended sexual partners. Additionally, limited access to enabling health environments prevent good health outcomes among sex workers living with HIV. Thus, sex workers (SWs) are one of the populations highly vulnerable to HIV and there is an ongoing need to scale up and coordinate a HIV prevention programme that addresses access to care, as well as marginalisation and stigma.
Reaching sex workers for the sex worker project was facilitated through KI’s wide community

Geographical location

Amajuba Zululand and uThukela districts in KwaZulu-Natal province and Cacadu district in Eastern Cape.

Funding Cycle: October 2013 to March 2016
16 in October 2014 and 25 in September 2015

Programme achievements

A total of 7,520 sex workers have been reached by the programme. Of these number of people reached, 771 had HIV counselling and testing done. A total of 1,350 sex workers attended 41 risk reduction workshops organized by KI while 586,077 male and female condoms were distributed during the period.