A recent sex worker survey done by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) showed that the rate has dropped from 12 per cent to 2.9 per cent.
Director of Health Promotion and Prevention at the NFPB, Andrea Campbell, who made the disclosure at a recent JIS Think Tank, said the results are encouraging, and indicate that the sex workers are receiving and acting on the safe sex messages from the NFPB.
She informed that the entity, through its training and outreach activities, has been able to engage more sex workers and share prevention and safe sex messages.
Ms. Campbell noted that sex workers are among the high risk group for STDs, as they are more likely to be raped, have multiple partners, and often practice inconsistent condom use.
The NFPB team reaches out to them through workshops, by visiting clubs and massage parlours, and doing streets visits.
Ms. Campbell said that many of the sex workers, who attend the workshops, share the information with their colleagues.
Through the NFBP’s intervention some former sex workers are preparing to enter the workforce.
“We have a group of 14 young ladies, who will graduate this year from a vocational institution,” Ms. Campbell informed.
She told JIS News that the NFPB is also placing emphasis on reducing unwanted and unplanned pregnancies among the child bearing age group 16-39 years.
She pointed out that emotional and socio-economic problems, resulting from unwanted pregnancies, can destroy the family structure, particularly if the women have turned to sex work as an alternative.
The NFPB is observing National Family Planning Week from October 25 to 31 under the theme: ‘Building Families, Building our Nation: A Focus on Vulnerable Populations’.