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Sex workers are recognized in Namibia as a key population at higher risk of HIV and yet to date, only limited and piece-meal information has been available regarding the size of the population, and the challenges they face in accessing health and other social and legal services. Furthermore, while a number of partners work on sex work and HIV in some manner, their efforts were not necessarily well known or coordinated. UNFPA and UNAIDS therefore initiated efforts to better understand the challenges sex workers face by carrying out a literature review and a rapid assessment in five towns in Namibia (Katima Mulilo, Walvis Bay, Oshikango, Kalkrand and Windhoek), the findings of which are included in the respective reports.

The objective of this literature review was to consolidate all known information about sex work and HIV in Namibia and provide an objective knowledge base that can inform programming and advocacy efforts as well as further research. The review also includes a mapping which outlines all key partners working on HIV and sex work and their main focus. The Rapid Assessment revealed important information which sheds light on the barriers to health services that sex workers face. Efforts that are currently underway, including the Integrated Biological and Behavioural Surveillance preface Survey (IBBSS) of sex workers and men who have sex with men by the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) and a Mapping Exercise by Society for Family Health (SFH) will complement this review and provide additional evidence to inform policy and programming.