Mombasa sex workers up in arms over shortage of ARVs

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 00:00 |
Nkoko Iju Africa Executive Director Marilyne Laini.

Sex workers in Mombasa have threatened to hold demonstrations to protest lack of anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) in public hospitals.

Through Nkoko Iju Africa, a CBO that champions the rights of sex workers, they said there has been a shortage of the drugs for two months.

“We are being turned away in public hospitals and we have decided to hold demos,” said Nkoko Iju Africa Executive Director Marilyne Laini.

Laini (pictured) said lack of the life saving drugs had exposed those living with HIV to opportunistic infections while HIV negative sex workers risk contracting the virus.

“Failure to access pre-exposure prophylaxis drugs can lead to some of us contracting HIV,” said Laini.

Carol Kalondu said she had not used ARVs for two weeks and was worried that she could contract opportunistic diseases which may lead to her death. But the National Aids Control Council, Coast Coordinator, Omari Mwanjama said that shortage of ARVs in public hospitals in Mombasa had been addressed.

“There is no cause for alarm. The standoff that was there between Kenya Revenue Authority and USAid had been resolved and the consignment had already been released ready for delivery to counties,” he said.

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