ENTERING SEX WORK IN THE INFORMAL URBAN SETTLEMENT OF KIBERA, NAIROBI, KENYA

Citation:
E.N. PN. "ENTERING SEX WORK IN THE INFORMAL URBAN SETTLEMENT OF KIBERA, NAIROBI, KENYA.". In: Future Medicinal Chemistry. African Wildlife Foundation. Nairobi; 2010.

Abstract:

Female sex work has long been recognized as an important factor in the urban sub-Saharan Africa HIV/AIDS pandemic, and in some cities remains a driving force for HIV transmission. However, despite a long history of epidemiological studies, there are still gaps in our knowledge of the social epidemiology of African female sex work. For example, the basic question of why some women enter into sex work, while others in the same socio-economic environment never do, remains under researched. We investigated this question for two samples of same-aged women, one of whom is currently practicing commercial sex, and another who has never done so. Both come from the informal urban settlement of Kibera, located in Nairobi, Kenya. Inclusion of another sample of women who can serve as comparisons to female sex workers is a notable feature of our research design, and one missing from many ecological and intervention studies. Using respondent driven sampling, we collected socio-economic and sexual behavioural data for a total for 320 women, evenly divided between female sex workers and Kibera women working in other occupations (e.g. hair-dressing, tailoring, hotel workers and food servers) from all ten Kibera communities to test the hypothesis that past and present family ties and structure are important predictors of entry into sex work. Results of univariate and multivariate analyses testing this hypothesis are discussed with respect to the African cultural practice of child fostering and future interventions.

Notes:

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