Kenyan sex workers top HIV infection list
Posted by Administrator on March 18, 2012
The research findings also recommend that prostitution should be legalised to make working conditions for sex workers more tolerable and reduce their rate of HIV infections.
The study, which was released on Thursday, is funded by the World Bank and the UN and carried out by the US based John Hopkins School of Public Health. It recommended an urgent scale up of HIV programmes. The researchers sampled about 100,000 prostitutes from 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Middle East. They found that of all the prostitutes in the 50 countries, those in Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest HIV prevalence.
The survey which covered between Jan 1, 2007 and June 25, 2011, ranked prostitutes in Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, South Africa, Malawi and Zimbabwe as having the highest rates of HIV infections. In Africa, Kenya had the highest number of sampled prostitutes at 7,000 with Senegal having the second largest sample at 1,656.
According to a recent City Council of Nairobi report, there are an estimated 7,000 prostitutes in Nairobi who service an average of three to four clients each night.
The study, published by The Lancet, a medical journal, argues that such high levels of HIV infection is not good for the general population.
Clinic for sex workers “Prostitutes who operate in safer environments have been shown to have lower risks,“ the study, whose authors were led by Dr Stefan Baral, notes.
The study significantly leans on the Kenya National HIV Strategic Plan which found out that HIV prevalence levels among prostitutes was 34 per cent, four times the national average of 7.1 per cent. To reverse the trend, a clinic has been established in River Road,Nairobi to test and counsel prostitutes.
Source: DAILY NATION
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