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New Outreach Program for Sex Workers in Albania

Aksion Plus, the SWAN member from Albania, has recently engaged one of its clients, a Methadone-using sex worker, in an outreach program towards sex workers in marginalized groups. At the moment it is a needs assessment, prior to launching harm reduction services (including Methadone treatment), peer and health education, distribution of condoms, and referral to other services for sex workers.
Albania is a recipient of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) support, and Aksion Plus plans to start implementing GFATM by the end of this year.
Street sex workers, especially in Roma and transgender communities, are often harassed by the police, practice unsafe sex in parks, under bridges and in other unhygienic venues. This small outreach project has more ambitious plans in the future. In the presence of the law that prosecutes sex workers, Aksion Plus is striving to at least support them by providing basic life-saving services. So far NGOs have been focused on trafficking, shelters for deported sex workers and similar. No services were available to active sex workers in Albania. Aksion Plus started similar activities with drug users in 2000 when the law was against harm reduction, but with a special agreement with the Ministry of Interior managed to launch a very successful program.

Contact person: Genci Mucollari, Aksion Plus, Albania
E-mail: gencaxionp@albmail.com
Website: www.aksionplus.net