Violence is a critical factor in the vulnerability of sex workers to HIV/AIDS. It prevents sex workers from accessing valuable information, support and services that help to protect them from HIV/AIDS. Global studies on sex work often relate to HIV prevention and only few of these studies focus on the effect of violence on HIV prevention. Data specifically focusing on violence and sex work and on risk factors for experiencing violence is generally lacking. This research investigates types and levels of violence experienced by sex workers in Kenya; who the perpetrators are; factors that increase the risk of experiencing violence; and mitigation factors to lower the risk of violence towards sex workers.
To reduce violence against sex workers and eliminate HIV in Kenya it is important to decriminalise activities associated with sex work and homosexuality, and stop arbitrary arrests based on county by-laws. Sex workers need to be meaningfully involved in formulating an effective national HIV response. In addition, it is vital to promote structural HIV interventions that support and empower sex workers to advocate for their rights. Finally, to prevent discriminatory treatment of sex workers, there is an urgent need for training of health care workers and police, and measures that increase police accountability
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