Knowledge, risk perception, and condom utilization pattern among female sex workers in Dire Dawa, Eastern Ethiopia 2016: a cross-sectional study

  • Hailemariam Mekonnen Workie Haramaya University, College of Health and Medical Science, School Of Nursing and Midwifery, Harar, Ethiopia
  • Teshager Worku Kassie Haramaya University, College of Health and Medical Science, School Of Nursing and Midwifery, Harar, Ethiopia
  • Tewodros Tesfa Hailegiyorgis Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medical and Health Sciences, Haramaya University, Harar, Ethiopia
Keywords: HIV/AIDS; knowledge; risk perception; condom; utilization; female sex workers; Ethiopia


Introduction: in 2015, in Dire Dawa administration city, adult HIV prevalence was 3.26 with 9,523 HIV positive population, & 251 annual AIDS deaths. Female sex workers are one of the high-risk groups for contracting HIV. Therefore, this study has assessed the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge, risk perception and condom utilization pattern among female sex workers' in Diredawa city.

Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted from April 15-June 25, 2016, in Dire Dawa among 156 female sex workers using convenient sampling method. Respondents were interviewed face-to-face using a pretested questionnaire. Training was provided to the data collectors and supervisors. Close supervision was done and double data entry was performed. Then the data were checked for completeness, consistency and entered into Epi Info v3.1 and analyzed using SPSS v20. The descriptive statistical analysis was used to compute frequency, mean, mode and proportion of the findings of this study. The results were presented using tables, charts, graphs, and texts.

Results: among the 156 female sex workers (FSWs), 99 (63.5%) had been working on commercial sex for more than one year, 92 (59%) were usually street-based, and 80 (51.3%) had partners between 2-3 per night. Only, 17 (10.9%) respondents mentioned three and above ways of HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention methods. Less than two-thirds (64.1%) of FSWs used a condom with all partners. One hundred thirty-eight (88.5%) of participants were engaged in unsafe sexual practice at least once since their engagement in sex work. Majority of FSWs (85.3%)) believed that their occupation is hazardous and 145 (92.9%) reported that they were unhappy being a commercial sex worker. Regarding risk perception, 79 (50.64%) and 37 (23.7%) of respondents perceived their chances of contracting HIV/STIs to be high and moderate respectively.

Conclusion: Knowledge about HIV/STIs and magnitude of condom utilization were good. However, a high number of unsafe sex and unsatisfactory risk perception attitudes were observed. Thus, a collaborative effort is needed to create awareness regarding risk perception attitude and increase the level of their practice towards the prevention of unsafe sex.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1937-8688