Rahnuma-FPAP reached to the most marginalized and vulnerable sections of society through different innovative programme interventions. Urban prostitution and sex related work is common at some selected places like markets, auto mobile shops, bus stands, goods transport workshops etc. and people working in this sectors are usually an easy target of sexually transmitted disease due to their lack of knowledge. We specifically through an innovative project targeted workers related to transport sector including minors, transgender/hijras, waiters and massagers to provide them orientation on how to protect them selves from unsafe sexual behavior and safe sex practices thereby reducing their risk to HIV&AIDS and other sex related infections. Through this specific project, a highly populated and busy area of Badami Bagh, Lahore (which host bus stands, auto mobile shops, hotels, goods transport workshops etc.) a mapping exercise was conducted to collect the information regarding truck companies working in the area and their staff, drivers, cleaners, hotels, health service outlets, schools and medical and general stores, the detail is given below: The second phase was to engage all stakeholders including religious leaders, prayer leaders, public sector officials from relevant ministries, representatives of various segments of transport sector trade unions (truck drivers, managers of truck companies, lady health workers, massagers, female sex workers and hijras). This stakeholders specifically from Badami Bagh, Lahore were also included project coordinating committee to supervise the project. The meetings of coordinating committee were regularly held to engage them actively for the project deliverables. Through this project more than two hundred local champions/peer educators were engaged and trained from local communities diverse groups involving heterosexuality and homosexuality, prevalent among the truckers.

They were provided with IEC material and involved in awareness and referral for diagnostic purposes. Keeping in view the action plan, more than two hundred local stakeholders including religious & prayer leaders, health functionaries, officials of law enforcement agencies, officials of local government were provided comprehensive orientation regarding HIV&AIDS, its mode of spread and prevention from HIV&AIDS. These orientations and subsequent capacity building initiatives have enabled them in dissemination of the information during their routine activities among peers, general public, friends and relatives. Though it appeared very difficult in the beginning to approach truck drivers and associated population for their orientation/training on HIV/AIDS, yet Rahnuma-FPAP succeeded with the efforts of staff and truck drivers union and some of local influentials to arrange their training and to convince them that this is beneficial for them and for their families. Through these orientation sessions 200 truckers and associated population were provided training and most of them were motivated how to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS by avoiding unsafe sex. Participants of these training were motivated and encouraged to disseminate HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment information to others. Through this project 55 Community Based Distributors (CBDs) were identified and provided orientation on HIV&AIDS. These capacity building initiatives enabled them to effectively sensitize their clients on HIV&AIDS related preventative measures and post effect solutions. These CBDs includes local shopkeepers/street hawkers- grocery shop owners, medical stores, barber’s shops, tea shops.

The supply of contraceptives were regularly replenished by dedicated field staff. SHEED a local NGO working for the sex workers in Badami Bagh, Lahore truck terminal. We approached this NGO and held regular meetings with them on HIV&AIDS and STIs especially for sex workers. On the basis of these orientation meetings, more than 40 LHVs and TBAs were trained on HIV&AIDS, STIs and family planning. Now this NGO is effectively creating awareness on HIV&AIDS, unsafe sex among sex workers and general public in the area through their static clinics and TBAs. Rahnuma-FPAP also provided refresher training to their paramedic staff and also provide supply of contraceptives including condoms. There are four LHV based clinics in truck terminal Badami Bagh, Lahore. All the LHVs were provided orientation on reproductive health, HIV&AIDS infection prevention, sterilization of medical equipments. They were also provided IEC material on HIV&AIDS and contraceptive supplies to effectively target beneficiaries. These initiatives were instrumental in providing treatment of general ailments, HIV&AIDS and other related complications. The sex workers were mostly from these areas who were provided regular information on HIV&AIDS and motivation for the use of condoms. There are three Traditional Healers clinics opened in the daytime. They were also approached and provided orientation on HIV&AIDS. They are also enrolled as CBD agents to distribute condoms and provide information about AIDS. At later stage it is also planned to provide them referral cards to act as VCT referral. All the LHVs will also be provided referral cards for referring cases to VCT centers.

Seven billboards were prepared with the message regarding “HIV/AIDS and were installed in the project area. 2 Billboards were installed on the main road with the approval of Pakistan Horticulture Authority (PHA) to create awareness among the Truck drivers, associated population and general public. 3500 key chain and 1200 wallets were prepared with the message regarding “HIV/AIDS” and distributed during various orientation sessions. Posters HIV/AIDS message were also distributed and affixed at prominent places in the project area. Four street theatres were arranged in collaboration with AIDS Awareness society in project area with the support of stakeholders and members of Project Coordinating Committee, which were viewed by more than 1500 truck drivers, cleaners, teachers, TBAs, LHWs and local community.