Sexual risk behaviors and practices of female sex workers in Rwanda in over a decade, 2006-2015

Jul 27, 2018; International Journal of STD & AIDS.


Female sex workers (FSWs) are at high risk for HIV. Cross-sectional surveys using a venue-day-time approach for recruitment were conducted among FSWs in Rwanda in 2006, 2010 and 2015. Chi square test for trends was computed to determine behavior changes. Logistic regression models were computed to determine risk factors associated with consistent condom use for the 2015 survey. There were 1041, 1338, and 1978 FSWs surveyed in 2006, 2010, and 2015, respectively. Condom use at the last sexual encounter with a client was similar in all surveys: 84.2%, 64.1%, and 83.3% (p = 1.0), respectively. Comprehensive HIV knowledge among FSWs was higher in 2015 than in 2006: 18.4%, 53.1%, and 71.1% (p = 0.00), respectively. Living in Kigali City and the Western province (aOR = 1.9 [95% CI: 1.3-2.8] and aOR = 2.0 [95% CI: 1.4-2.9], respectively) and higher level of education (OR = 2.0 [95% CI: 1.4-2.9]) were positively associated with consistent condom use with a client. Street-based FSWs (aOR = 0.7 [95% CI: 0.6-0.9]); FSWs with sex work as sole occupation (aOR = 0.6 [95% CI: 0.5-0.7]); FSWs who experienced sexually transmitted infections in the last year (aOR = 0.7 [95% CI: 0.5-0.8]) and HIV-positive FSWs (aOR = 0.8 [95% CI: 0.6-0.9]) were less likely to report consistent condom use. HIV prevention methods have evolved among FSWs in RWanda over the last decade, but HIV prevalence remains high. Condom use among many FSWs is inconsistent. New approaches for behavior change and income-generating activities are needed to reduce the vulnerability of FSWs in Rwanda.

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