A qualitative study of secondary distribution of HIV self-test kits by female sex workers in Kenya

Suzanne Maman, Katherine R. Murray, Sue Napierala Mavedzenge, Lennah Oluoch, Florence Sijenje, Kawango Agot, Harsha Thirumurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Promoting awareness of serostatus and frequent HIV testing is especially important among high risk populations such as female sex workers (FSW) and their sexual partners. HIV self-testing is an approach that is gaining ground in sub-Saharan Africa as a strategy to increase knowledge of HIV status and promote safer sexual decisions. However, little is known about self-test distribution strategies that are optimal for increasing testing access among hard-toreach and high risk individuals. We conducted a qualitative study with 18 FSW who participated in a larger study that provided them with five oral fluid-based self-tests, training on how to use the tests, and encouragement to offer the self-tests to their sexual partners using their discretion. Women demonstrated agency in the strategies they used to introduce selftests to their partners and to avoid conflict with partners. They carefully considered with whom to share self-tests, often assessing the possibility for negative reactions from partners as part of their decision making process. When women faced negative reactions from partners, they drew on strategies they had used before to avoid conflict and physical harm from partners, such as not responding to angry partners and forgoing payment to leave angry partners quickly. Some women also used self-tests to make more informed sexual decisions with their partners.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0174629
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

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Sex Workers
analytical kits
Kenya
Sexual Partners
HIV
gender
Testing
Africa South of the Sahara
testing
Decision Making
Decision making
Fluids
Population
Sub-Saharan Africa
Conflict (Psychology)
decision making
mouth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

A qualitative study of secondary distribution of HIV self-test kits by female sex workers in Kenya. / Maman, Suzanne; Murray, Katherine R.; Mavedzenge, Sue Napierala; Oluoch, Lennah; Sijenje, Florence; Agot, Kawango; Thirumurthy, Harsha.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 12, No. 3, e0174629, 01.03.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Maman S, Murray KR, Mavedzenge SN, Oluoch L, Sijenje F, Agot K et al. A qualitative study of secondary distribution of HIV self-test kits by female sex workers in Kenya. PLoS ONE. 2017 Mar 1;12(3). e0174629. Available from, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174629
Maman, Suzanne ; Murray, Katherine R. ; Mavedzenge, Sue Napierala ; Oluoch, Lennah ; Sijenje, Florence ; Agot, Kawango ; Thirumurthy, Harsha. / A qualitative study of secondary distribution of HIV self-test kits by female sex workers in Kenya. In: PLoS ONE. 2017 ; Vol. 12, No. 3.
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