A qualitative exploration on accounts of condom-use negotiation with clients: Challenges and predicaments related to sex work among street-based female sex workers in ekurhuleni district, south africa

Nokuthula Sikhosana, Mathildah Mpata Mokgatle*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: female sex workers (FSWs) are the key vulnerable populations since they carry the high burden of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, the vulnerability of street-based FSWs to HIV/STIs is much higher than that of the establishment-based FSWs. The study aimed to explore street-based FSWs’ condom negotiation skills, barriers to condom use as well as the challenges and predicaments they face on a daily basis. Methods: an exploratory qualitative approach using focus group discussions was conducted among FSWs working in a major provincial road in a district of Gauteng Province. Thematic content analysis using NVivo version 10 software was conducted. Results: the age range of the FSWs was 19 to 44 years. The themes that emerged from the data on challenges to negotiation and condom use among FSWs revealed the ways condoms are used in early sex work and over time, ways of enforcing condom used, preferred types of condoms and the predicaments to working in the sex trade. FSWs gained experience of negotiating condom use over time in their work. Both female and male condoms were available and accurate insertion of condoms was reported. Male condom was preferred. Condom use strategies included direct request; using health-information messages; charging more for condomless sex; and refusing condomless sex. The FSW reported the risks of violent attacks of unregulated street-based environment. Conclusion: condom negotiation strategies illustrated that peer-education and sharing experiences among themselves were beneficial for protective sexual behaviours. Peereducation benefits and peer-interactions yielded assertive attitudes and behaviours of demanding and/or enforcing condom use.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
JournalPan African Medical Journal
Volume40
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Condom use
  • Female sex worker
  • Unprotected sex
  • Vaginal health

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