Key Populations (KPs) are still at the highest risk of getting HIV infections. Facility level stigma, discrimination and negative values are some of the challenges that KPs (i.e. men who have sex with men, female sex workers, transgender, people who use drugs, people who inject drugs) face in accessing Sexual and Reproductive Health services and psychosocial support.
Pangaea Zimbabwe (PZ) is implementing a project aimed at building the capacity of public health facilities in Harare to provide comprehensive, quality KP-friendly HIV prevention, care, treatment and support services.
To ensure that services at health facilities are client centred, the project engaged members of the KP community (Community Facilitators) who are providing peer to peer support including mobilization, tracking and tracing of KPs for HIV prevention, care and treatment.
The project is currently conducting a hot spot mapping exercise in communities surrounding the 18 City of Harare clinics that PZ supports. The exercise is aimed at improving awareness of places where KPs are found and additional information that improves strategic service provision. Hot spot mapping is a systematic identification of locations and sites where KPs frequent for social purposes e.g brothels, lodgings, bars, highways, street corners. Mapping also gives an idea of the types and estimated numbers of KP individuals who visit each location.
A sensitizing training session was conducted with the Community Facilitators (CFs) to sensitize them on the hotspot mapping exercise and to equip them with skills to collect information. The CFs, some of whom were quite familiar with exercise, embraced the initiative and showed eagerness to get started! The team awaits feedback from this exercise and next steps to further strengthen the KP program.