Program brief: "Using what you have to get what you want: HIV vulnerability and prevention needs of female post‐secondary students engaged in transactional sex in Kumasi, Ghana
Baffuor Opoku, Kofi
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HIV prevalence among young Ghanaian men and women aged 15–24 years old is estimated at 1.7%.1 HIV prevalence in the specific population of female post-secondary students is unknown. The Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) recognizes the need for further research in communities participating in less well-defined risky sex practices. This study was conducted by Boston University’s Center for Global Health and Development and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with funding from the United States Agency for International Development/Ghana. The objective was to provide academic institutions, the GAC, the National AIDS Control Program, donors, and other stakeholders with data to inform research and programmatic efforts in Kumasi, specifically, as well as academic institutions, in general. Study participants were recruited from five post-secondary institutions in the greater Kumasi area. Data were collected on students’ perceptions of transactional sex (TS) on campus, individual and structural HIV vulnerabilities, and prevention needs through in-depth interviews with seven female post-secondary students involved in TS and focus groups with twenty-nine female and male students. Key informant interviews were also conducted with faculty, residence hall matrons, and hotel staff. Non-commercial transactional sex is defined here as engaging in sex for the purposeof obtaining material goods, financial support, or grades.
This study was implemented by Boston University in collaboration with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology with support from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Agency for International Development under Project SEARCH Task Order No. GHH‐I‐00‐07‐00023‐00, beginning August 27, 2010. The content and views expressed here are the authors’ and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy of USAID or the U.S. Government.