Focused Peer-Mediated Educational Programs among Female Sex Workers to Reduce Sexually Transmitted Disease and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Transmission in Kenya and Zimbabwe

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Peer-mediated education programs in Kenya and Zimbabwe focusing on female sex workers for the control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have led to increased condom use and increased adoption of other safer sex practices, as well as declines in STD and HIV incidence among female sex workers. It is likely that similar declines have occurred among their clients and possibly in the general community, although supporting data are limited. These results are encouraging. However, progress in increasing the scale and coverage of intervention programs among female sex workers has been slow. Constraints to expanding program coverage include inadequate political commitment; deficiencies in program planning, management, and human resources; and insufficient funding. The challenges currently are to show that behavioral change can be sustained and to scale up activities from small demonstration projects to district, provincial, and national levels.

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