Prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers in Kisumu, Western Kenya, 1997 and 2008

H.M. Vandenhoudt, L. Langat, J. Menten, F. Odongo, S. Oswago, G. Luttah, C. Zeh, T. Crucitti, K. Laserson, J. Vulule, Anne Buvé

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BACKGROUND: In 1997, a survey in Kisumu found a prevalence of HIV infection among female sex workers (FSW) of 75%. Only 50% reported using a condom with the last client. In 2008, we conducted another survey to collect data to inform an intervention targeting FSW in Kisumu. METHODS: In 2008 FSW were recruited by respondent-driven sampling. Women completed a questionnaire and were tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Multiple logistic regression analysis was done to explore factors associated with HIV-infection, and with condom use. Prevalence of HIV infection was compared in the two surveys from 1997 and 2008. Multivariate analysis was used to assess whether a change in HIV prevalence between the two surveys could be explained by changes in socio-demographic characteristics and/or behavioral factors. RESULTS: 481 FSW participated in the 2008 study. HIV prevalence was 56.5% (95% CI 52.0-61.6). Factors independently associated with HIV were age older than 29 years; being a widow; STI treatment in the past year; herpes simplex virus Type-2 infection; bacterial vaginosis; and trichomoniasis. Condom use with last client was reported by 75.0% (95% CI 70.9-78.9). Predictors of condom use with the last client were age older than 29 years; higher price paid by last client; ever having been tested for HIV. Predictors of unprotected sex were being drunk during last sex act; usually having sex during menses; and STI treatment in the past year. The odds ratio of HIV infection associated with year of survey was 0.49 (95% CI 0.33-0.75) after adjusting for socio-demographic and behavioral factors. CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of HIV among FSW in Kisumu was found to be lower in 2008 than in 1997, while reported condom use was higher. However, access to HIV/STI prevention and care services needs to improve to further decrease HIV transmission between FSW and their clients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e54953
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Viral diseases
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • STD
  • Herpes simplex virus type 2
  • HSV-2
  • Bacterial diseases
  • Syphilis
  • Treponema pallidum
  • Vaginosis
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Trichomonas vaginalis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Neisseria
  • Chlamydia
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Prevalence
  • Disease transmission-sexual
  • Risk behavior
  • Sexual behavior
  • Risk groups
  • Prostitutes
  • Women
  • Follow up studies
  • Prevention
  • Condom use
  • Age
  • Alcohol
  • Kenya
  • Africa-East


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