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ID: 1035

Type of submission: Oral

Conference track: Practice

Topics: Integrated Harm Reduction Services

Presenting author: Margaret Njiraini

Presenting author biography:

I am a highly motivated professional with an aspiring progressive career and a holder of a Bachelor of Science in International Business Administration. Have been working with PWIDs for the last 3 years I possess a great desire and drive to see PWIDs prosper and engage in less risky behaviours.

At the Heart of the Response: Peer led programming to increase service delivery for People Who Inject Drugs in Kwale County, Kenya.

Margaret Njiraini, Cosmus Maina, Janet Musimbi, serah Malaba, John Anthony, Helgar Musyoki, Parinita Bhattacharjee

Issue: Kenya’s national HIV prevalence (2010) among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) is 18.7%. The Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework 2014-19 recommends targeted HIV prevention programmes for PWIDs as a key strategy to preventing new HIV infections in Kenya. In 2014 the national key population guidelines were revised and peer led outreach in designated hot spots was stated as a key tactic to deliver prevention interventions.

Setting: Prior to 2014 implementers of harm reduction interventions relied on non PWID outreach workers, thereby reaching up to only 160 PWDS per month. The outreaches were not targeted and hot spot based.
Project: In 2014 in line with nationally recommended peer ratio, Teens Watch recruited and trained 15 Peer Educators (PE) from the PWID community to reach 750 targeted PWIDs in mapped areas. In addition, 2 ORWs were engaged as field supervisors to support the PEs in micro-planning and outreach. Micro planning was done to profile and prioritize each hotspot of PWID developed plans based on their risk and vulnerability.

Outcomes: Routine program data review from September 2014 to September 2015 confirmed doubling of quarterly PWID outreach contacts from 51% in to 109%, HIV service uptake increased from 20% to 80%, STI screening increased from 47% to 109%. The peer led outreach and micro planning enhanced understanding of individualized needle and syringe requirement and strengthened the distribution mechanisms increasing the distribution from 4 to 9 needles per PWID per month. Allocation of PWID PEs to designated hot spots guaranteed effective cohort tracking while minimizing duplication.
Conclusion: Success of peer led outreach model and micro planning among PWID in Kwale has led to replication of the strategy by other implementing partners in the region. Further adaptation in other counties would assure optimal PWID coverage and attainment of milestones in the Kenya AIDS Strategic Framework 2014-2019.