ICRHK partnered with LVCT Health since 2021 to implement the STAWISHA PWANI project. This five-year project, funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), aims to enhance access to quality HIV prevention and treatment services for key populations in Kenya.
The USAID Stawisha project, led by ICRHK, focuses on improving access to high-quality HIV prevention and treatment services for Female Sex Workers (FSW), Male Sex Workers (MSW), and Transgender (TG) populations. The project operates through six Drop-In Centers (DIC) in Kilifi and Mombasa counties, providing comprehensive care, treatment, and prevention services to key populations.
A key feature of the Stawisha Pwani Project is its peer-led approach, with members of the key populations actively involved in program implementation. Peer educators, PrEP champions, and Navigators play a vital role in creating awareness, generating demand for services, and engaging with the key populations effectively.
This inclusive approach has led to significant progress in enhancing access to healthcare services for key populations and achieving project objectives. As part of the program, ICRHK has made HIV testing services (HTS) a crucial entry point, ensuring quarterly testing for all key populations in alignment with guidelines. By the end of the project’s first year (September 2022), ICRHK provided HIV prevention interventions to 10,800 key populations, including 8,892 FSW, 1,053 MSM, and 855 TG individuals.
To strengthen prevention efforts, ICRHK actively promotes Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as a vital component of the combination prevention approach. PrEP has proven effective in reducing HIV transmission risks among individuals at continuous risk. By September 2022, the project successfully initiated 2,724 key populations (2,173 FSW, 367 MSM, and 184 TG) on PrEP.
ICRHK also emphasizes the crucial linkage to Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) as an integral part of the HIV continuum of care. All newly identified HIV-positive individuals are promptly connected to ART services at the DICs and referral facilities of their choice. Efforts to achieve the second 95 of the HIV cascades, ensuring that at least 95% of people who know their HIV status receive treatment, have been implemented. From October 2021 to September 2022, ICRHK provided ART services to 1,778 key populations (1,413 FSW, 312 MSM, and 53 TG) at the DICs, with an additional 602 individuals served at the link facilities.
The remarkable achievements of the STAWISHA PWANI project exemplify ICRHK’s dedication to addressing the unique healthcare needs of key populations and making a significant impact in HIV prevention and treatment.