A young anti-drug activist in Mombasa has revealed that he has been distributing condoms to sex workers in Mombasa at night in a bid to contain HIV prevalence among key population in the County.
The 22 year old Hassan Omar Abdallah said that the increased in HIV among key populations being sex workers and drug users pushed him to the bold move so that he curtails the HIV burden in the County.
Hassan said that though many would be surprised, for him it is the right direction to contain HIV pervasiveness since not only the sex workers and drug users are at risk but youth too are vulnerable since they engage in unprotected sex.
He added that the current situation in the county is wanting as sex workers do not bother carrying condoms whenever they go into their daily businesses, their targets are ‘high paying clients’.
Hassan said that he would not relent despite many of his peers becoming uncertain about his night activities.
“Being a youth, many would think I am looking for sex from sex workers, however that is not the case, my objectives are clear, I want to discourage unprotected sex among sex workers in Mombasa,” he noted.
[[Hassan Omar Abdallah with a colleague Fridah Maghanga holding a dummy vagina as he get prepared to disseminate information about proper use of Condoms to sex workers in Mombasa. Photo/Tom Fondo]
According to the recent HIV status from the National Aids Control Council-NACC, Mombasa stands at 7.4 percent, a figure that is higher than the national’s 6 % HIV prevalence.
“Such figures should worry everyone, since I am a dedicated anti- drug activist, I decided to step in the fight, it is not an easy task to persuade sex workers to use condoms especially when they get well paying clients,” he added.
On his motorcycle, Hassan has been roaming around Sabasaba area, notorious Casablanca club, Bombolulu and some parts of Changamwe within the County at night carrying boxes of condoms to ensure sex workers engage in protected sex.
He said that at times he crosses to Shanzu and Mtwapa areas of Kilifi County only to ensure sex workers operating in those areas get protective gears.
“However not all would take the condoms some rejects them but am not discouraged, through my persistence, those who rejects them today, tomorrow will in fact ask me to deliver them some boxes,” he said.
Hassan who has been in close contact with sex workers and most of them would call him through his mobile phone so that they get condoms for free said that he is not shy about his health activism since he knows the little efforts from him counts.
[Reachout Centre Trust Peer educator Hassan Omar Abdallah during his exchange visit to Kisumu Drop In Centre in Kisumu on a mission to learn about Key population, drug use and rehabilitation measures in Kisumu County. Photo/Maxwell Ngala]
The Reachout Centre Trust employee is currently providing health education and HIV awareness campaign to female sex workers in Mombasa County in a bid to reduce the HIV prevalence.
He is now seeking more support from the county health department and other health organisations in the country so as to enable him reach many sex workers not only in Mombasa county but the larger Coast region.