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County Leadership Dialogue, Diani Kwale County

 

People who use drugs are frequently have their rights violated because of the risky behaviors they indulge in; the criminalization of drugs makes them inherently vulnerable to police and community harassments hence facing stigmatization, dishonor and besmirchment from the community and service givers.

It is on that note that through the support of our Development partners Open Society Foundation of Eastern Africa, we  partnered with United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime, we organized a county leadership dialogue with the Kenya police, prison wardens, health care givers, National AIDS Control Council, Teens watch and other stakeholders from Kwale County to deliberate on this matter in order to stop; Discrimination, stigmatization and Human rights violation among this vulnerable group which its prevalence of HIV transmission is higher than the general public, instead we need to support Harm reduction interventions by Reachout centre trust and other like-minded organization, we as well need to promote social inclusion and efficiency service delivery among this key population to prevent new HIV infection among this group and linking to care the affected.

Participants had an interaction session with recovering drug users whom they shared their testimonials when using drugs, the challenges faced when seeking health services and the prejudice from the society which forces them to create self stigma and isolating their families and society at large.

Kwale county has an HIV prevalence of 5.7%, the Key population statistics is estimated to be 1,503; with 1,112 female sex workers, 257 men having sex with men and 134 Injecting drug users according to National HIV Estimates 2016. Out of estimated   21,000 persons currently living with HIV in Kwale, 2,659 are children and infants.

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