Ishtar MSM is a Community Based Organization in Kenya founded in 1997, after the staging of the play 'Cleopatra' at the Kenya National Theatre (KNT). The play sought to create an entry point into the lives of Men Who Have Sex With Men (MSM) in Nairobi and beyond, and developing an atmosphere of goodwill and general wellbeing. Ishtar has since developed to include integrated and holistic approaches in advancing the sexual health rights of MSM classified globally as one of the Most at risk populations in relation to HIV/AIDS and STI Vulnerability. This encompasses targeting different subcategories of MSM including Youth, Male Sex Workers, Married Men, Transgender Women and other wide range of sexual and gender identities including ,gay, bisexual or heterosexual who come from various sociocultural contexts.
Attain full sexual health rights and social well being for Men who have sex with men (MSM) in Kenya.
To advance the sexual health rights of MSM and reduce stigma and discrimination aliened with them by creating general awareness with the aim of empowering the MSM community and the society at large, advocating for the rights to good health, access to STI/HIV and AIDS related care and treatment in Kenya.
Ishtar MSM’s objectives, in broad terms, are:
1. Advocate for equal access of healthcare for MSM.
2. To identify and develop a referral system for MSM health needs.
3. To create, raise and promote Public awareness about MSM including youth, MSM living with HIV, male sex workers, married men, elder men etc.
4. To use different medium e.g. drama, dance and skits, fliers brochures, newsletters & mass media, to pass messages regarding sexual health and safer sexual practices for the MSM community.
5. Capacity building of members.
6. To offer peer education services to the members
7. To create, plan and manage different support groups for the members.
8. To emphasize life skills, and development of positive attitudes and values.
9. To create and raise security awareness among MSM community.
Ishtar MSM’s services include:
1. Offering MSM Psychosocial support and services.
2. Referrals to MSM-friendly VCT and other health services
3. Distribution of condoms and water-based lubricants ( Free Ishtar branded water based lubricants now available)
4. Wellness workshops that include safer sex awareness
5. Peer education and counseling
6. Open forum discussions
7. Post Test Clubs [PTC]
8. Community mobilization through various outreach activities.
9. Drop in services at the GALCK community center
10. Providing Technical Assistance to other MSM organizations or individuals.
For further information and access to any of the Ishtar MSM's services do contact the organization through the following:
Landline: (+254) 20 249 72 28
Cell No: (+254) 713 797 157