BHESP is cognizant that sex workers and women who use drugs form an important epidemiological link for HIV transmission to the general population which is attributed to increased frequency of high risk sex and HIV risk behaviours which render them to be susceptible to acquisition and easy transmission of HIV and AIDS. In this case BHESP believes that sex workers are an instrumental drive to curb the escalating infection rate of HIV and AIDS pandemic. With this in mind, BHESP has adapted a strategy of training sex workers, women who use drugs and WSW as peer educators as an entry point to reach other women within their networks. The trained peer educators exhibit leadership skills, control and are influential to their women and their clients.
BHESP HIV and AIDS project priority areas of focus are based on the Kenya National AIDS Strategic Plan (KNASP III) 2009/10 – 2012- 2013 which seeks to deliver a HIV free society in Kenya by reducing new HIV infections, improving the quality of life of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and mitigating the socio economic impact of the scourge.
The cornerstone of BHESP’s work is peer education and outreach. Peers are selected and trained to take on the empowerment, support including the entire portfolio of HIV infection, risk management and vulnerability. Initially the training revolved around IEC on STIs/HIV as well as safe sex negotiation, organizing both formal and informal discussion sessions on access to health services and the rights of sex workers, WSWs, women who use drugs and bar hostesses, encouraging counselling and testing for HIV, ensuring testing for and treatment of STIs among these vulnerable women. Seeking to ensure that they are reached with HIV minimum package, BHESP reaches out to our members through our trained and qualified peer educators.
In addition to one to one interaction and peers outreaches, BHESP has established two a fully equipped Wellness Centres and 10 satellite Drop in Centres to provide friendly on site health services to key populations in various parts of urban centres where key population numbers are high. Additionally, BHESP conducts mobile wellness vans as a link between key population and our Well and Drop in Centres.