Level of stigma among female sex workers: comparison of two surveys of HIV behavioral data, Ethiopia

M K Getnet, H M Damen
African Health Sciences 2011, 11 (4): 543-9

BACKGROUND: HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination is widespread in Africa. We did a secondary data analysis of HIV and AIDS behavioral surveillance surveys (BSS) on female sex workers residing in three major cities in Ethiopia.

OBJECTIVES: To compare level of sigma among sex workers through the analysis of two data sources of BSS conducted in 2002 and 2005 in Ethiopia.

METHODS: The BSS used standardized methodology to study the level of stigma among female sex workers. Female sex workers were sampled using two-stage probability sampling methods in each of the three cities. Data from a total of 2,888 female sex workers was analyzed and interpreted. We used Chi square to compare the socio-demographic variables of the two surveys and logistic regression to compare level of stigma between the two surveys.

RESULTS: There is a significant difference in the level of stigma between the two surveys. This applies to most of the questions that were included in the surveys.

CONCLUSION: The proportion of female sex workers with a stigmatizing attitude is considerably high, posing threats to the HIV prevention program. Strengthening interventions on all aspects of stigma is recommended.

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