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HIV awareness and safe sexual behaviors among female sex workers in Kathmandu valley of Nepal

Authors Kakchapati S, Gautam N, KC KP, Rawal BB

Received 20 January 2018

Accepted for publication 9 May 2018

Published 21 August 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 157—166

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HIV.S163269

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Bassel Sawaya


Sampurna Kakchapati,1 Nirmal Gautam,1 Khagendra Prakash KC,2 Bir Bahadhur Rawal3

1Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, Prince of Songkla University, Pattani, Thailand; 2Health Science Research and Development Concerns, Kathmandu, Nepal; 3National Centre for AIDS and STD Control, Kathmandu, Nepal

Purpose: Knowledge on HIV and safe sex practices are the main determinants for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS transmission. The aim of this study was to assess HIV awareness and safe sexual behavior among the female sex workers (FSWs) in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal.
Methods: The study was based on data secondary to Integrated Biological and Behavioral Surveillance surveys of 2093 FSWs in Kathmandu valley from 2006 to 2015. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were used to identify the factors associated with knowledge and misconceptions about HIV (BCDEF) and safe sexual practices (consistent condom use with regular clients and nonpaying partners).
Results: FSWs who had secondary education (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=2.08, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.60, 2.70) and visited the drop-in center (DIC) (AOR=1.34, 95% CI=1.02, 1.75) in the last year had more knowledge and misconceptions about HIV (BCDEF). FSWs who had consistent condom use with nonpaying partners (AOR=1.60, 95% CI=1.23, 2.09), had a HIV test (AOR=1.34, 95% CI=1.02, 1.76), met peer educators (PEs) (AOR=1.49, 95% CI=1.17, 1.91) and visited the DIC in the last year (AOR=1.32, 95% CI=1.01, 1.72) had a higher chance of condom use with clients. Married FSWs (AOR=2.23, 95% CI=1.57, 3.17) and FSWs who met PEs in the last year were more likely to have condom use with nonpaying partners (AOR=1.42, 95% CI=1.04, 1.93).
Conclusion: Knowledge and misconceptions about HIV has decreased over the years among FSWs; however, consistent condom use with regular clients and nonpaying partners has significantly increased. HIV intervention programs were strongly associated with safe sexual practices among FSWs and need to be strengthened.

Keywords: HIV knowledge, misconceptions, sex work, safe sex

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