Elizabeth Atieno Onyango

Coast Sex Workers Alliance (COSWA-Kenya) - Fellow

Elizabeth is a feminist and human rights defender from Mombasa where she worked as the Health Promotion Officer for COSWA-KENYA. She advocates for the inclusion of female sex workers in every space where decisions are being made, with a special focus on rights for the marginalized. She is a decorated sexual and reproductive health rights advocate, trained by Akina Mama Wa Afrika and has implemented several local sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programs for sex workers. She participated in the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW-Global) Young Advocates Task Force to formulate the #NowWeKnowCampaign, an online Campaign that aims to eradicate obstetric violence against women living with HIV.

In Their Own Words

The name of my “SASA!” is derived from a Swahili word sasa which is used to emphasize the urgency of an issue. My project is focusing on advocacy to ensure more equitable access to HIV prevention and harm reduction interventions for sex workers (SWs) who use drugs in Kenya.
I conducted a needs assessment among SWs who use drugs in Mombasa, Kilifi and Lamu which resulted in identifying issues affecting SWs who use drugs there, which in turn has resulted in sex workers led organizations in Kenya working together to address the health and human rights needs of sex workers who use drugs. My selection to be a module lead for SWs in the ongoing Global Fund Cycle 7 writing process has ensured that issues of SWs who use drugs are prioritized in Kenya’s concept note. I have trained more than 80 SWs who use drugs on the new HIV prevention technologies such as DVR, oral and injectable PrEP which has brought more awareness. Since joining the Fellowship, I have been selected to be part of various spaces where I’m advocating for issues of SWs and young people e.g., the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+) Advisory Board for their Young Emerging Leaders Program; the ARASA Grants Committee; and the AIDS 2024 among others. I founded a group of Female SWs who use drugs called HIDAYA! and delivered a call to action in two satellite sessions at the 12th IAS Conference on HIV Science.



Get in Touch

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