“I am a former sex worker. When I heard about the peer educator training, I decided to come. I wanted to bring light to my friends… In one place, I met a newcomer – a 19-year-old Nigerian. [She] told me that she was not using condoms. I convinced her to use condoms and to get tested. Later, she thanked me and told me that I saved her life. We became friends. So, now, when I come for sensitization, she translates for me into English for the other sex workers who don’t speak French."
Irène Nakoulma, FSW peer educator
“We [peer educators] are doing the hard work, convincing people to come for an HIV test. Doing the test is the easy part. Often, they don’t want to come because they are afraid to know their status. They are afraid that if they are positive, other people will find out. They are also afraid that others will find out they are MSM."
Frank, MSM peer educator
“The hardest part of my job is convincing people to get tested. Some are stubborn. Some don’t know that HIV exists. Some are afraid of knowing their test results. It’s important to help them understand that their results will be confidential. Otherwise, they will not come."
Isabelle Tapsoba, FSW peer educator
“You have to be respectful of the sex workers [and] approach the work carefully. Don’t treat them any differently than anyone else. Little by little, you can earn their respect and trust. If you can convince one person to trust you, she can help convince the others to trust you as well.”
Epiphanie Tapsoba, FSW peer educator
“It’s hardest for people to be adherent at the beginning. They are afraid that someone will find out their status. We really have to help them understand that their information will remain confidential. The peer navigator’s work is hardest at the beginning of a diagnosis.”
Romain Ouedraogo, peer navigator
“When someone is not adherent, we do what we can to bring them back to the center. After the doctor has done his part, we talk with them about respecting appointments, we invite them to group talks so they can hear about others’ experiences and build trust in us, and we pay them visits to make sure they are taking their drugs."
Eugenie Kinda, Peer Navigator