Providing sex workers with access to adequate healthcare is a delicate issue across Africa where the profession continues to be criminalised and stigmatised in society.Thus, initiatives such as the Cym Van Dyke clinic which cater to this class of marginalised individuals are welcome with open arms and gratitude.18% either had, or would consider, verbally abusing someone who is not gender conforming – and nearly 10% had, or would consider, physically abusing them.10 South Africa remains the only country in sub-Saharan Africa where gay rights are formally recognised.11 Moreover, national policies strongly emphasise equity, social justice and forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation.

As a result, men who have sex with men find it difficult to disclose their sexuality to healthcare workers, limiting their access to HIV services.7 However, there is evidence that attitudes are changing.

In 2013 a study found that only 32% of South Africans said homosexuality should be accepted by society.8 A more recent study in 2016 found 55% of South Africans would accept a gay family member; 51% said gay people should have the same human rights as others; and two thirds supported keeping the constitutional protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.9 However, the same study also found that 72% of people said same-sex sexual activity was morally wrong.

The Cym Van Dyke clinic in Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa, whose target is providing healthcare for sex workers, finally commenced operations over the weekend to much acclaim.

Sex workers in South Africa, along with the general public, will be offered drug counseling, cervical cancer screening, access to condoms and lubricants, legal services, as well as pregnancy, Tuberculosis, STI, and HIV testing at the clinic.

The clinic is the first of its kind in South Africa.

A key vision of the clinic is to help 20 million people benefit from HIV treatment by 2020.

Johannesburg, 20 June 2017 - A clinic for sex workers has been opened in Cape Town.

The facility is located at the offices of the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce.

"All of us in this room need to be committed to making this clinic work," said Shackleton. Sisonke representative Zukiswa Ngobo said that sex workers are often stigmatised or turned away from healthcare facilities used by the general public. fail to render us services, call us irresponsible and call us names.

They don't know how it is like to be a sex worker." Ngobo expressed the community's gratitude to now have a space at SWEAT to seek treatment.

The clinic will be the only one of its kind in South Africa.