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Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) staff on Tuesday visited the Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) wellness center, located along Jogoo Road in Nairobi’s Eastlands area.

KHPT staff met with BHESP’s Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Simon Mwangi, Nurse Marcy Wafula and paralegal Mary Mugure and discussed BHESP interventions in HIV prevention.

KHPT commended BHESP for the work it's doing in HIV prevention, care and support among female sex workers in Kenya and promised its support.

Commending BHESP’s work in Kenya, KHPT staff Ravi Parakash said, “All the best for all the hard work the organization is doing.”

West Africa Centre for Public Health and Development Country Coordinator Dr. Kalada Green, who accompanied KHPT staff, applauded BHESP’s effort in reducing stigma and discrimination.

“I met a lady today who while introducing herself said she was a sex worker and HIV positive. That can’t happen in Nigeria, stigma is still very high,” Green said.

KHPT Implements and studies projects related to HIV and AIDS and reproductive health in the Indian states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

A partnership between the University of Manitoba, Canada, and the Karnataka State AIDS Prevention Society, KHPT combines rigorous academic analysis with grounded community initiatives with sex worker HIV prevention being an area of particular expertise.

KHPT interventions have strong structural components, working to reduce HIV vulnerability by mobilizing sex workers to form and sustain community-based organizations (CBOs), addressing gender-based violence, reducing stigma and discrimination, and enhancing access to social entitlements.

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What do you do?

I am a sex worker and I pimp girls. A guy comes to me, he wants a girl, I have approximately 22 girls, I call one of them and I negotiate the payment. Out of the negotiations I get a commission but it will only depend on how much the girl is getting.

How did you start sex work?

Back in 2010 I was fired from my job. I really tarmacked looking for a job in Nairobi and I didn’t get one. I decided to go to Simmers Pub and started sex work. I have been in the industry for six years. It’s not necessarily that you work in an office, we can’t all fit there. We have to disperse one way or the other.

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Last modified on Sunday, 13 March 2016 08:53

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