"I can decide to use the property I have to make money": HIV vulnerability of bar workers and bar patrons in Kumasi, Ghana
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This report provides the findings from a qualitative study exploring the social, economic and behavioral vulnerability to HIV of women working in bars and restaurants in Kumasi, Ghana’s second largest city. This research was conducted by a collaborative team comprised of researchers from Boston University’s Center for Global and Health and Development (CGHD) and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) School of Medical Sciences. It is one of nine studies under the Operations Research on Key Populations project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The study was designed and carried out in collaboration with the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC). Reducing vulnerability to HIV infection among key populations in Ghana is a major goal for the National AIDS Control Program (NACP) and the GAC. While a number of studies have explored HIV risk behaviours among self-identified female sex workers and their partners in Ghana, little is known about the vulnerability of women working in small bars and restaurants who may be involved in transactional sex. Further, we have little information about how best to reach this population with services that will enable them and their clientele to protect themselves from HIV and reduce other vulnerabilities related to their health and well-being. To address this gap, this study aimed to explore behavioural, social, and economic factors that contribute to HIV vulnerability; types and extent of transactional sex; the relationship between alcohol/drug use, unsafe sex and transactional sex; and the health and social service needs of this population. The study findings are meant to inform the development and implementation of HIV prevention programs for bar workers and bar patrons.
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.