Sex Worker Programme

The Sex Worker Programme offers beneficiaries a comprehensive package of social, structural, and biomedical services (aligned to the National Sex Worker Plan 2019-2022). These will be offered to male, female, and transgender sex workers at fixed and mobile sites. The programme aims to provide services to 45,584 sex worker and 95% saturation in the 16 non-PEPFAR districts

The package of services available to beneficiaries consists of Core and Layered services:

Core Package

The minimum (core) package for sex workers is comprised of a risk assessment, peer education (HIV-negative sex workers) and peer navigation (HIV-positive sex workers), offer of male and female condoms and lubricants, offer of HIV testing services, TB and STI screening, risk reduction counselling, social mobilization, offer of psychosocial support (to beneficiaries and to interventionist staff – new addition), PrEP demand creation (HIV-negative sex workers) and GBV screening and awareness (based on WHO LIVES). Then, layers are added based on the risk assessment.


•Biomedical: HIVSS, pregnancy testing, annual pap smear, cervical cancer awareness, screening, and referrals (new addition in this funding request), emergency contraception, PrEP, PEP, ART initiation or linkage, viral load monitoring, PMTCT, termination of pregnancy, PPT for STIs, TPT, TB treatment, Hep B screening and immunization, mental health services, hormone therapy (for trans sex workers) and rectal care (for male and trans sex workers). •Behavioural: PrEP use support, peer-led adherence support, parenting support, harm reduction (for sex workers who use drugs), substance use support. •Structural: Community empowerment, dignity packs, gender-transformative condom negotiation, economic empowerment, reporting human rights violations, sensitizing healthcare workers and HTA, legal services, post-violence care, interventions for young people who sell sex, HIV service uptake for clients and partners, referrals to Sisonke.

The Sex Worker programme will continue to prioritize special programming aimed at:

  • Children of Sex Workers-: The programme will continue to prioritize special programming aimed at children of sex workers. The programme aims to enhance the tailoring of packages for transgender sex workers, male sex workers, young sex workers, and sex workers who are parents. Support groups for sex workers who are parents will be established to share information on perinatal health (including mental health), SRHR, child health, child development, and parenting skills.
  • Clients of Sex workers: to ensure occupational health and safety standards for sex workers are developed and maintained and, engagement with clients of sex workers around their sexual health
  • Minors (<18 years) Who Sell Sex; The programme will plan, develop, and pilot for minors (<18 years) who sell sex. A multi sectoral national working group to develop a strategy to address the HIV related needs of minors will be established.
  • Economic Strengthening and Livelihoods: Core elements of the programme are training in financial access and enterprise development, financial education, work readiness, food security and  tailored educational support opportunities for young sex workers.