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Title: A study of the characteristics and dynamics of women at heightened risk of HIV in rural Zimbabwe
Author: Elmes, Jocelyn
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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Among many behaviour changes associated with recent declines in HIV prevalence in Zimbabwe, the number of men reporting buying sex halved between 1999 and 2005 possibly due to economic deterioration reducing disposable income. As the economy recovers, a key question is how this is reflected in sexual behaviour trends. A recent modelling analysis of the modes of transmission of HIV in Zimbabwe suggested diminished role for sex work in driving new infections. A central conclusion was that the analysis was hampered by a lack of contemporary data on sex work in Zimbabwe. As Zimbabwe enters a new strategic phase of policy towards interventions, the data of the women at risk study are timely. Sex workers - defined broadly as women > 17 years old who received money, goods or any form of material benefit in exchange for sexual intercourse - were enrolled into a 12 month cohort across four socio-economic areas in rural Zimbabwe. Biological and behavioural data were collected. Two methods were used to recruit women: a venue-based strategy; and a modified snowball. Women were asked questions for 20-30 minutes in a face-to-face interview delivered either onsite in venues or at an arranged meeting time. The population size from the census was triangulated with a capture-recapture survey and with the prevalence of reporting on a general population survey. Depending on the defintions SW make up between 5.9% and 7.2% of the general female population according to WR study data. This is slightly higher than, but comparable to a general population estimate of 4.7%. The venue-based population was estimated as 1.36%. Research into the payments for sex revealed a 27% price reduction for sex when a client requests a condom. Client preferences determine whether a condom will be used or not. This has implications for interventions targeted at sex work.
Supervisor: White, Peter; Gregson, Simon; Hallett, Timothy Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available