Perspectives on HIV pre- and post-exposure prophylaxes (PrEP and PEP) among female and male sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya: Implications for integrating biomedical prevention into sexual health services


Pre- and post-exposure prophylaxes (PrEP and PEP) can reduce the risk of HIV acquisition, yet often are inaccessible to and underutilized by most-vulnerable populations, including sex workers in sub-Saharan Africa. Based on in-depth interviews with 21 female and 23 male HIV-negative sex workers in Mombasa, Kenya, we found that awareness and knowledge of PrEP and PEP were low, although willingness to use both was high. Participants felt PrEP would be empowering and give added protection against infection, although some expressed concerns about side effects. Despite PEP's availability, few knew about it and even fewer had used it, but most who had would use it again. Sex workers valued confidentiality, privacy, trustworthiness, and convenient location in health services and wanted thorough HIV/STI assessments. These findings suggest the importance of situating PrEP and PEP within sex worker-friendly health services and conducting outreach to promote these biomedical prevention methods for Kenyan sex workers

Authors & affiliation: 
Arjee J. Restar, Jack Ume Tocco, Joanne E. Mantell, Yves Lafort, Peter Gichangi, Tsitsi B. Masvawure, Sophie Vusha Chabeda, and Theo G. M. Sandfo Arjee J. Restar, MPH, is affiliated with the Brown School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Jack Ume Tocco, MPH, PhD, Joanne E. Mantell, MS, MSPH, PhD, Tsitsi B. Masvawure, MS, PhD, and Theo G. M. Sandfort, PhD, are affiliated with the HIV Center for Clinical and Behav- ioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and Columbia University, New York, New York. Yves Lafort, MD, MPH, is affiliated with the International Center for Reproductive Health, Ghent, and Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. Peter Gichangi, MBCHB, MMED(O/G), PhD, is affiliated with the International Centre for Reproductive Health, Kenya, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya, and Ghent University. Tsitsi B Masvawure, MS, PhD, is also affiliated with the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts. Sophie Vusha Chabeda, MS, is affiliated with the International Centre for Reproductive Health, Kenya.
Staff Members: 
Published In: 
Aids Education And Prevention; Volume: 29; Issue: 2; Pages: 141-153.
Publication date: 
Saturday, April 1, 2017