Uganda Holds National Sex Workers Dialogue

many sex workers in Uganda considered social discrimination as a major barrier in their willingness or desire to test for HIV

Participants during the dialogue at Hotel Africana. FILE PHOTO

The Ministry of Health together with other partners have successfuly conducted the third annual national sex workers’ dialogue.

The dialogue, which was held at Hotel Africana in Kampala today [Tuesday 22nd October, 2019], brought together hundreds of sex workers in Uganda. was held under the

The theme of this year’s dialogue was Hernessing Efforts for Accelerating Uptake and Scaleup of Behavioral, Structural and Biomedical Combination Strategies for HIV Prevention Among Rural and Semi- Urban Based Female Sex Workers [FSWS] and Adolescent Girls and Young Women [AGYW] Engaged in Sex in Uganda.

Officials from the Ministry of Health shared strategies on HIV/AIDS prevention and led discussions on awareness creation about HIV/AIDS while the Uganda Police was represented by a senior officer as well.

Participants paying attention to speeches during the event.

HIV prevalence among sex workers was estimated at 37% in 2015/16. It is estimated that sex workers and their clients accounted for 18% of new HIV infections in Uganda in 2015/16.

A 2015 evidence review found between 33% and 55% of sex workers in Uganda reported inconsistent condom use in the past month, driven by the fact that clients will often pay more for sex without a condom.

Violence is common, with more than 80% of sex workers experiencing recent client-perpetrated violence and 18% experiencing intimate partner violence. More than 30% had a history of extreme war-related trauma.

The criminalisation of sex work and entrenched social stigma means sex workers often avoid accessing health services and conceal their occupation from healthcare providers.

During the dialogue, many sex workers in Uganda considered social discrimination as a major barrier in their willingness or desire to test for HIV


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Noah Omuya

Noah Omuya is the founder and CEO of Aica Media and a two time winner of the Media Challenge Awards (The best feature story writer- 2018 and the best Climate Change Photography Award- 2019). He has a bachelors degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University. He is also an alumni for; British Council Future News Worldwide Fellowship- 2020, Climate Tracker Energy Reporting Fellowship- 2020, InfoNile- Code for Africa Data Journalism Fellowship- 2020, the Media Challenge Fellowship, 2019 and British Council East Africa and Africa Writers Trust Master Class in Creative Writing- 2019. Omuya has specialized training in writing, strategic and multimedia communication, mainstream and online journalism, broadcast media and youth participatory radio, content development, and public relations. He is very much interested in sustainable development communication.

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