This study aimed to map locations and estimate the population size of female sex workers in Ghana in order to better plan HIV prevention interventions, measure HIV prevalence and incidence of select sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and identify behavioral risk factors among female sex workers and their non-paying partners. The study helped in the effective tracking of changes that have occurred in key population programs since the last survey of this type in 2011, which was also implemented by FHI 360 and funded by the Ghana AIDS Commission.
This study was executed by using the following four components:
- To refine strategies for accessing and recruiting female sex workers and develop appropriate sampling strategies for non-paying partners into the Biological Behavioral Study (BBS)
- To sensitize and build rapport with the local communities, including the target populations
- To identify potential challenges or safety concerns for the study team and target populations
- To geographically map the hotspots of all female sex workers in all 10 regional capitals of Ghana, for sampling frame development
- To generate estimates of the numbers of female sex workers at specific hotspot sites based on key informant interviews
- To estimate the population size of female sex workers for each hotspot across selected cities and towns using multiple approaches, including enumeration, capture-recapture and multiplier methods
BBS among female sex workers and non-paying partners
- To characterize key behaviors linked to the transmission of HIV and STIs among female sex workers and their non-paying partners; to determine the prevalence of HIV and select STIs (syphilis, HSV-2, HBV, and gonorrhea) among female sex workers
- To assess the coverage of HIV/STI prevention and treatment services for female sex workers
- To provide recommendations to address gaps in access to critical prevention, treatment, care and support services for female sex workers and their non-paying partners
The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) of the University of Ghana and three other local nongovernmental organizations with extensive experience working with female sex workers at the community level.