Discrimination in accessing healthcare and low availability of friendly HIV services to the key populations has led to poor knowledge of HIV status. Cultural practices and stigma have also contributed to limiting educational progression and employment retention for girls and young women. Most of the key populations are therefore forced to engage in transactional sex, alcohol and drug dependency as a means to coping with stigma.
As a result, they are exposed to challenges that include public intolerance that culminates to hate motivated physical, sexual and gender based violence. Low availability of condom-safe lubricants and poor knowledge of correct, consistent use of condoms with appropriate lubrication and of negotiation skills push most of these populations to remain at risk without accessing services.
LVCT Health’s policy advocacy aims at creating a conducive environment for HIV, sexual reproductive health and gender based violence services at national, county and community level in Kenya.
LVCT Health technical support engagement include: contribution to WHO Testing and Treatment guidelines; GBV HIV online Hub; Kenya HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (KASF), HIV Prevention Revolution Roadmap, HIV testing quality management curriculum, Assessment tool for prevention intervention in Kenya, Adaptation of the EBAN protocol, Framework for Public Private Engagement for Antiretroviral therapy; Training manual for health service providers on provision of PRC services to survivors of sexual violence; Community health extension workers (CHEWs) curriculum, CHEWs manual and CHEWs facilitators guide, Community Health Volunteers (CHV) curriculum, CHV distance and M-learning curriculum; and 2010 National HTC guidelines (Chapter on Most-At-Risk Populations – MARPS).
LVCT Health developed a County Investment Framework to align its programmes to the needs of county governments. Other key achievements include: signing of partnership with Makueni County government to support Provider Initiated Testing and Counseling (PITC) program in all government supported facilities; supporting health forums in Machakos and Kitui counties to address health challenges including unmet HIV prevention interventions, care and treatment among the key populations and GBV; establishment of two Gender Based Violence Recovery Centers (GBVRCs) in Nyeri and Kisumu and supporting Kisumu County in setting up a GBV/HIV technical working group and provided technical support in developing the Kisumu County Gender Strategic Working Plan 2013 – 2017.