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Hiv stigma among commercial sex workers in mombasa solwodi


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Hiv stigma among commercial sex workers in mombasa solwodi

  1. 1. 4/2/2014
  2. 2. HIV STIGMA AMONG COMMERCIAL SEX WORKERS IN MOMBASA 3rd NOPE Conference at KICC Nairobi – Kenya 18th June to 20th June 2008 Presented by: Elizabeth Akinyi SOLWODI [K]
  3. 3. 4/2/2014 Who is a sex worker? • A sex worker is a person [male or female] who earns money by providing sexual services. The term is sometimes used as a synonym or euphemism for prostitution, but most scholars define it to include all individuals who perform sexual or sexually oriented activities in the sex industry, such as strippers, erotic massage therapists, pornography actors and actresses, live sex shows, webcam shows, and phone sex operators (Weitzer 2000).
  4. 4. 4/2/2014 What is stigma? • Goffman² defines stigma in general as an undesirable or discrediting attitude individual possesses, thus reducing that individual’s status in the eyes of society and can result from a particular characteristic, such as physical deformity or it can be negative attitudes towards the behaviour of a group, such as homosexuals or commercial sex workers, IDUs, HIV positive people etc. • Stigma may also be described as a label which associates a person to a set of unwanted characteristics that form a stereotype.
  5. 5. 4/2/2014 What is stigma cont! • In sociological theory, a stigma is an attribute, behavior, or reputation which is socially discrediting in a particular way: it causes an individual to be mentally classified by others in an undesirable, rejected stereotype rather than in an accepted, normal one. • Erving Goffman, noted sociologist, defined Stigma as a special kind of gap between virtual social identity and actual social identity:
  6. 6. 4/2/2014 Why do people manifest stigma towards sex workers? • Traditionally, sex is only acceptable within marriage or at least within a significant relationship [Goffman, 1968; Pheterson, 1998] • Selling sex is thus seen as abnormal and therefore morally wrong and sex workers as a group are stigmatized [Alexander, 1998]. • Myths and stereotypes that exist about sex workers are that they are dirty/filthy and spread disease. • It is assumed that they come from dysfunctional families. • Blamed for social ills in the society e.g.. divorce cases in families.
  7. 7. 4/2/2014 Why stigma on sex workers cont. • Stigma does not only apply to sex workers and is often attached to any woman that is sexually assertive or seen as impure. • Stigma aims to silence and degrade those that it targets, emphasizing their “shameful differentness”
  8. 8. 4/2/2014 Effects of stigma on sex workers. • Most sex workers lack self esteem due to the perception they have on themselves as a result of internalizing stigma people manifest towards them. • Feeling of guilt, shame, despair and self judgment leading to psychological distress. • Resolving into abusing drugs to run away from reality.
  9. 9. 4/2/2014 Effects of stigma on sex workers cont. • The stigma that sex workers face can make it hard for them to access health, legal, and social services. They may either be afraid to seek out these services for fear of discrimination, or physically blocked from accessing them. • Barrier to meaningful social interactions with persons who are not sex workers. • Distanced from other family members including children.
  10. 10. 4/2/2014 Effects of stigma to the community • Revenge as a result of stigma may lead to violence in the family and community at large. • Withdrawal from active participation in nation building such as joining other social groupings in the community and instead tend to have their own social groupings and therefore denied a chance of interaction with other members of the community.
  11. 11. 4/2/2014 Effects of stigma to the community cont. • stigma "is among the many barriers that discourage people from seeking treatment" for their condition. • Families may blame, neglect, or drive away sick relatives in an effort to hide their links to the epidemic which may be perceived to have happened as a consequence of “sinful, reckless, or decadent acts”
  12. 12. 4/2/2014 How can we reduce stigma on sex workers? • APHIA 11 Coast is already involved in stigma reduction campaigns and this is done through implementing partners focusing on sex workers such as SOLWODI, ICRH and Voi youth forum, with the support from USAID.
  13. 13. 4/2/2014 Stigma reduction cont. • In the APHIA 11 programme, Sex workers are viewed as partners and this raises their self esteem. • They are directly involved in dissemination of anti-stigma messages in the community especially on HIV/AIDs after being trained as peer educators. • They are also involved in HIV prevention campaigns and therefore encouraged to look after their health and to access services that could help them and their peers. Such services include; referals to health facilities for ; VCT services, Family planning, Comprehensive Care, T.B Check ups and treatment , as well as Home based care.
  14. 14. 4/2/2014 Stigma reduction cont. • They are organized into support groups, and this provides a forum for group therapy sessions and generally sharing ideas. • Peer counseling sessions are carried out by the peer counselors. • They organize and actively participate in community outreaches. • Forums involving sex workers and their family members especially their children are facilitated.
  15. 15. 4/2/2014 Stigma reduction cont. Interventions for stigma reduction are linked with existing models for promoting the recovery of persons.
  16. 16. 4/2/2014 Community outreaches organized by peer educators in collaboration with other partners
  17. 17. 4/2/2014 Community outreaches organized by peer educators
  18. 18. 4/2/2014 Success stories • Support groups for PLWHAs have been formed and the number of members keep on increasing. • Community members have been reached with stigma reduction messages. • There is an increased number of sex workers going for VCT services. • Sex workers being reconciled with their family members especially children who have lost hope and could not cope with the situation. • Increased number of sex workers seeking alternative means of earning income other than sex work. • Community members seeking support from the peer educators especially referrals to health facilities
  19. 19. 4/2/2014 Recommendations • We should all join hands to fight all sorts of stigma in the community. • Sex workers should be empowered to be able to deal with issues that affect their lives so that they can take the lead in implementation of programmes such as HIV/AIDs prevention and gender based violence among others.
  20. 20. 4/2/2014 Do you know ! ! In the community, we are are seen as dirty/filthy, good for nothing, husband snatchers, people who spread sexually transmitted infections etc. But.. Our services are highly on demand by……….
  21. 21. 4/2/2014 Look beneath the surface IT COULD BE YOUR ; DAUGHTER SISTER BROTHER THANK YOU
  22. 22. 4/2/2014 END