BHESP BLOGS

21ST FEBRUARY 2021---- It is February, and for many, they would love to call it the month of love because, on 14th February, the world marks Valentine’s Day. For most people, it is a day spent celebrating romance. But for sex workers, Valentine's Day tends to be the opposite. 

Jessica (not her real name), is a 38-year-old sex worker in Nairobi. She says that, contrary to what people might think, February 14th tends to be rather quiet for workers in the sex trade: her clients often see her on the days surrounding Valentine's Day — but rarely the day of — because people are often busy with their partners. They also don’t always have the extra cash, especially now that the effects of Covid-19 restrictions are felt by almost everyone in the economic sector.


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Until March 2020, a visit to Kisumu would be incomplete without stopping at Octopus club, a paradise for those who love the company of girls while catching a drink.

The place had an array of beauties that one would sample from and it was turned into a one-stop-shop for those interested in girls and who enjoy twilight activities……it was indeed the face of nightlife in the lakeside city.

It was akin to Nairobi’s Sabina Joy as well as other famous red-light district zones and “sex” was readily available for dozens of men who would throng it to quench their thirst.

Established back in 1978, curtains have finally fallen on Octopus Club, the oldest entertainment facility in Kisumu’s red-light district.

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The twilight girls who readily offered company, comfort and sweet endings to men who thronged the joint be it for booze or entertainment are nowhere to see.

 “This is the first time in 43 years that we have closed the doors of Octopus. Business has been bad in the last few months and it is not possible to continue running it,” says McTough, the proprietor of the now-defunct club.


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A twenty minutes’ drive along the modern Thika superhighway will lead you to Kasarani area and a further ten minutes will bring you to a sprawling Mwiki residential area synonymous with flats for rentals.

Many that live in Mwiki are average earners who commute to the city using matatus or commuter trains that have a stopover in the area.

But whereas many residents of Mwiki would wake up every morning and prepare to go to work in the city, a group of four middle-aged women who have rented a three bedroomed house in the area would be going to their phones and computers to look for clients, who will in one way or another find their way to the house, or direct them where to meet to have sex or provide escort services.

The women are sex workers who have gone digital.

The world’s oldest profession is adopting a new business model; street-walkers are heading to the information highway.

Mary (not her real name) has agreed to share her experience with me on one condition, that I don’t expose her or take any pictures of her or the house she lives in with her co sex workers.

She tells me she hails from Siaya County and her parents know that she works in a big office in Nairobi since she drives a fairly good car and she affords life’s luxuries that would otherwise be associated with those who are employed and earn good salaries.


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By BHESP Team

NAIROBI, 18TH JANUARY 2020.

Bar Hostess Empowerment and Support Programme (BHESP) today teamed up with Frontline AIDS, a charity organization that supports persons living with HIV, to donate dry foodstuff to cushion sex workers who are considered a vulnerable group against the biting economic effects of Covid-19.

The contribution which comprised relief packages containing maize flour, wheat flour, sugar, cooking oil, and green grams – is part of the nutrition support rendered to persons living with HIV in support of the national response against the corona pandemic.

While presenting the donations, ART champion and care manager at BHESP Ms. Lydia Otiso indicated that over 50 families have benefitted directly from the nutrition support and close to 2000 persons of the broader cohort receiving prevention services have benefitted from the distribution of Personal Protective Gears. “As a champion, I am greatly appreciative of the motorbike that this Frontline AIDS grant enabled us to acquire and so the effectiveness of differentiated care service delivery for our ART cohort can be increased for retention and for the greater objective of achieving the 95-95-95 goal of treatment prevention,” says Lydia.


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ADAPTED FROM AIDSMAP

A recent study published by AIDSMAP and analyzed locally by different research firms from data collected at seven different Sex Workers Outreach Programs in Nairobi from a sample of 33,560 women indicates that the number testing positive for HIV has dropped by more than two-thirds between 2008 and 2017.

While no single intervention can be identified as to the underlying cause in the decreasing numbers, it suggests that increasing HIV awareness, testing and treatment in Kenya are reaching this population of women, despite the criminalization of sex work. It is estimated that female sex workers in Kenya are almost ten times more likely to contract HIV than non-sex workers, so they are a key population to target.

The clinics use peer support and outreach workers to recruit female sex workers. When signing up to use the clinic’s services, each woman was offered an HIV test, which was used to monitor rates of HIV. Further information was collected by analyzing questionnaires that the women were asked to complete when attending. Only 78% of the women completed this information, as it was not mandatory for enrolment into the clinic.


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Fruit Shop

Welcome to the Fruit Shop

We sell fruits from around the world. Please use our website to learn more about our business. We hope you will come to our shop and buy some fruit.

This mini site will show you how you might want to set up a site for a business, in this case one selling fruit. It shows how to use access controls to manage your site content. If you were building a real site, you would might want to extend it with e-commerce, a catalog, mailing lists or other enhancements, many of which are available through the Joomla! Extensions Directory.

To understand this site you will probably want to make one user with groups set to customer and one with group set to grower. By logging in with different privileges you can see how access control works.

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