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HIV prevention drug for Kenyan sex workers helps curb new infections

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Kenya has a severe, generalised HIV epidemic, with 1.4 million cases. But in recent years, the country has experienced a notable decline in the prevalence of the virus, attributed in part to increased access to antiretroviral drugs. In 2016, Kenya became one of the first African countries to make antiretroviral pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) available for HIV prevention among “key populations”, including female sex workers, who are four times more likely to be infected with HIV than women in the general population. FRANCE 24’s Olivia Bizot and Elodie Cousin report.

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1 min

The Sex Workers Outreach Programme in Kenya’s capital Nairobi has been providing sex workers with the HIV prevention drug since 2017.

One of the workers, Caroline, said that PrEP has changed her life, since many of her clients are prepared to pay more for unprotected sex. “I decided to take PrEP because I don’t know their status.”

The government’s rollout of the drug seems to be working. An estimated 400,000 Kenyans are now estimated to be using PrEP, and the number of new HIV infections dropped by 44 percent between 2016 and 2022.

For the full report, please click on the player above.

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