The third annual national sex workers’ dialogue is currently ongoing at Hotel Africana in Kampala aimed at sensitising sex workers on HIV/AIDS.
Officials from the Ministry of Health are sharing strategies on HIV/AIDS prevention and are leading discussions on awareness creation about HIV/AIDS while the Uganda Police is represented by a senior officer as well.
HIV prevalence among sex workers was estimated at 37% in 2015/16. It is estimated that sex workers and their clients accounted for 18% of new HIV infections in Uganda in 2015/16.
A 2015 evidence review found between 33% and 55% of sex workers in Uganda reported inconsistent condom use in the past month, driven by the fact that clients will often pay more for sex without a condom.
Violence is common, with more than 80% of sex workers experiencing recent client-perpetrated violence and 18% experiencing intimate partner violence. More than 30% had a history of extreme war-related trauma.
The criminalisation of sex work and entrenched social stigma means sex workers often avoid accessing health services and conceal their occupation from healthcare providers. Indeed, many sex workers in Uganda consider social discrimination as a major barrier in their willingness or desire to test for HIV