In an attempt to reduce HIV infection among sex workers, UNFPA, in partnership with Pakachere Institute for Health and Development Communications, organised a three-day leadership training workshop for sex workers.
The training, which was held at Kalikuti Hotel in Lilongwe from Tuesday this week, brought together 34 participants, including leaders of National Sex Workers Alliance and representatives from district alliances.
Pakachere media manager Grace Kumwenda said the objective is to improve health-seeking behaviours among female sex workers through promotion of HIV testing and counselling, routine STI screening, condom use and ability to negotiate for condoms.
UNFPA national HIV programme manager Humphreys Shumba, whose organisation funded the campaign to the tune of $100 000 (K32 million), said war against HIV cannot be won if one social group is left out.
He said sex workers are the most discriminated against group when it comes to accessing health services; yet, they are the most risky group.
“HIV prevalence among sex workers is at 70 percent, yet, the national prevalence is at 10.6 percent. This means out of 10 sex workers, seven are infected with HIV. As a country, we are sitting on a time bomb,” said Shumba. n