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Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine

versión On-line ISSN 2078-6751
versión impresa ISSN 1608-9693


MUDZVITI, Tinashe et al. Perspectives on oral pre-exposure prophylaxis use amongst female sex workers in Harare, Zimbabwe. South. Afr. j. HIV med. (Online) [online]. 2020, vol.21, n.1, pp.1-6. ISSN 2078-6751.

BACKGROUND: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) could provide protection from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in sexually active persons at risk. Limited data are available in Zimbabwe with regard to the perceptions about PrEP amongst female sex workers (FSWs OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge levels of oral PrEP and the likelihood of its use amongst FSWs. METHOD: This was a cross-sectional study in the peri-urban areas of Harare, Zimbabwe. Human immunodeficiency virus-negative FSWs were interviewed to assess their awareness of and likelihood to use PrEP. The relative importance index was used to evaluate the levels of knowledge and the likelihood of, and barriers to, PrEP use. A set of 10 questions was designed and validated that evaluated participants' understanding of PrEP. A bivariate logistic regression model was utilised to identify predictors of PrEP use. RESULTS: A total of 131 FSWs with a median age of 25 years (interquartile range: 21-31) participated in this study. Of the 71 (54%) FSWs who had heard about PrEP, 46 (35%) participants had adequate knowledge of its use. A total of 102 (78%) participants revealed that they would be willing to continuously use PrEP if it was provided free of cost. Increasing age of the participants was associated with an increase in the likelihood of using PrEP (r = 0.0033, p = 0.038). More knowledge about PrEP increased the likelihood of its use (r = 0.21, p = 0.0153). This likelihood increased amongst participants with an unprotected sexual intercourse encounter in the preceding 3 months (r = 0.0448, p = 0.026). CONCLUSION: Knowledge of PrEP amongst FSWs was low. To increase the uptake of PrEP, there is a need to further sensitise FSWs about this intervention. Programmes should also promote awareness training in FSW subgroups that are less likely to use PrEP.

Palabras clave : female sex workers; HIV; pre-exposure prophylaxis; barriers; Truvada.

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