Pink Power and Brighter Horizons have in a report stated that more than 30% (amounting to hundreds) of se*x workers in Sierra Leone are HIV positive.
Politico reports that the report highlighted observations and interactions with se*x workers by the organizations and documented that most of the ladies do not use condoms during sexual intercourse with their clients.
“444 (Four Hundred and forty four) se*x workers were tested and more than 30% of them are infected with HIV,” he said. The report stated that even though four hundred and forty four was a smaller sample of the population of se*x workers, they were sure of the reliability of their conclusion, having in the past three years, worked with sex workers and do know their usual haunts.
The report referenced World Health Organization (WHO) in 2016 estimating only 15% of se*x workers in Sierra Leone use condoms when having se*x with their customers, and ranked the country the lowest percentage of condom use in Africa.
The organizations said they took two approaches in testing the ladies, the first approach being the Nichoto testing during day time. Ladies were picked up from different spots and taken to the organization’s office to be tested, whilst others were tested at Aces Night Club. 20% of those tested during the day were infected.
The other was the moonlight testing approach done at night in the various locations where the ladies work. The report explained that both organizations found the hotspots, arranged settings, in order to make the process discreet and safe. 41% of those tested during the moonlight approach were positive.
According to the researchers, they have worked to improve and aid se*x workers in Freetown, by providing them jobs and education opportunities, and also disclosed that during this COVID-19 pandemic, they have also been giving food to 400 se*x workers on a weekly basis.
Night campaigns have been done to educate the ladies and share condoms and flyers about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.
The Organizations suggested that there should be a collective approach by all to seek solutions to this menace, noting that the growing number of HIV amongst sex workers is scary.
The research by Pink Power and Brighter Horizons saw another organization ICAP taking charge of testing, tracking of test results, statistics and getting the girls treated