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International Congress on HIV/AIDS women and children,Shiraz- Iran/Poster presentation

Female sex workers in Tehran- A study of their perception of protection against HIV/AIDS and factors influencing condom use

S.Moayedi-Nia, B.Moradmand Badie, M.Mohraz

Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Tehran University of medical sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

To study female sex workers (FSWs) knowledge of HIV, practice of condom use, factors influencing condom use among them and FSWs’ perception of protection against HIV infection.

Method: A qualitative study carried out on 11 female sex workers in Tehran by means of semi-structured interview.

Result: Analysis of qualitative data revealed that the average age of participants was 36.9. The majority of women were single and experienced “temporary marriage frequently over the course of their career. All of FSWs had basic knowledge about HIV transmission routes, prevention and treatment, but in some cases their understanding was vague and mixed with common misconceptions. Nine participants reported using condom during sexual intercourse with their last client. In general, reported reasons for using condom included: Fear of disease specially HIV Infection, fear of getting pregnant , fear of transmitting infection to partner and condom is an easy and clean way to have sex. Reasons reported for not using condom included: physical disability in client that cause erection difficulties, clients’ believes about condoms, less sexual enjoyment for client, lack of negotiation power for condom use, Client belief about his own health condition, financial needs of FSWs, trusting boyfriend or husband for being faithful, no access to condom and regular client. The FSWs perceived that vaginal washing, Taking medication and Visiting a physician can protect them against HIV/AIDS transmission in a case that they do not use condom in sexual contact with clients.

Conclusion: Based on the findings of this study, it can be suggested to give FSWs and their clients a better education regarding condom use and breaking down condom use barriers will increase the condom usage among FSWs and their clients. It is also crucial to mention that for future work, further studies with larger sample groups is needed to better understand of this high risk group.