Commercial Sex workers Abandon Condoms For Tablets

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Sex Workers Ditch Condoms For Prophylaxis Drugs

Sex workers in the Central region are ditching the use of condoms that protect themselves and their clients and instead going for Pre-exposure( PrEP) and Post-Exposure prophylaxis drugs. The drugs which are prescribed in health centres are now being purchased on the black market.

Francis Githae, the Central Region HIV/AIDS Programme Coordinator reveals that the drugs are being consumed freely. He said,” PrEP tablets are supposed to be given to patients who have had unprotected sex and are HIV-negative. We have people who bypass this procedure. They perceive themselves as HIV-negative and proceed to swallow the tablets as they would githeri.”

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Githae asserts that there is a bi-monthly injection that is an alternative to PrEps that is not being abused since there are technicalities that are involved when accessing it. He claims that the drugs are stolen from hospitals and are sold on the streets. Other people are reported to feign exposure to the virus to receive the PrEP dosage after which they sell it.

Commercial sex workers ditching condoms for drugs

Miriam Maina, the health coordinator for sexual health workers who is based in Thika town says that the misuse of drugs has been caused by many factors which include the sudden shortage of condoms. She said,” The government has not been supplying the sex workers with enough condoms, that’s why there is a shortage of condoms. We have also been giving these tablets to our members for free. These days people are educating themselves online about the milestones achieved so far in the fight against HIV/AIDS and may have this information about how the drugs are used to keep the HIV/AIDS virus at bay”

Maina also revealed that competitiveness in the sex trade has also caused a high incidence of unprotected sex. She said that some men promise a lot of money in the event of unprotected sex. The health coordinator reveals, “Some men simply walk into a sex den and announce that they will pay more for unprotected sex. Workers with the tablets take the business.”

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