Panama Project Trains Sex Workers to Serve as Health Promoters to Impact Rates of HIV/AIDS in the Region

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Over the last two and a half years, CAI has been implementing a project in Panama focused on decreasing prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases among key at-risk populations. The project's innovative strategy provide trainings and technical assistance directly peer educators -- members of the target population-- including sex workers, persons of transgender experience, and men who have sex with men (MSM). Community-based organizations and health service providers also receive coordinated capacity building services focused on increasing their ability to provide effective outreach services including provision of health messages, behavioral change sessions and connecting peers to health related services. Enabling physicians and other healthcare providers to understand and strategize around the barriers their clients face in accessing healthcare services, CAI's Panama project team has successfully delivered 28 workshops reaching more than 600 people with more than 600 hours of training.

According to the health care providers, these trainings and evidence-based best practices are making a significant impact within their HIV prevention efforts by providing them with tools and critically needed TA to ensure implementation and sustainability of the tools and knowledge.