Commercial sex workers


Focus Group Discussion Tool 7:  Commercial sex workers (women who interact a lot with men)



  • Participants should not exceed 12 per FGD
  • This tool will be used in all the six partner sites
  • This tool can be administered ONCE per site –
  • The choice for the sample size should be as representative as possible i.e. area distribution of CSWs.
  • The services being assessed are those being provided by the IRC partner at that particular site. 
  • The facilitator should take time to assess other similar services offered by other agencies in that site/or lack of other players
  • Required persons for exercise – Experienced facilitator and two note takers.  An observer could also help.





A.  General

1.1.    What is your understanding of HIV and AIDS?

  • Ø HIV is a virus
  • Ø The mention of the word HIV provokes a feeling of fear to me.
  • Ø When I think about HIV, the question about my status come in.
  • Ø AIDS is the maturity of HIV
  • Ø AIDS is a stage where signs and symptoms appear.

1.2.    You as women who interact a lot with men, how has HIV affected you?

  • Ø Many People that we know have died and are still dying.
  • Ø Health is deterioriating.
  • Ø Loss of money treating illnesses related to AIDS.
  • Ø Have suicidal thoughts because of fear.
  • Ø Psychological stress.
  • Ø Always anticipating infection with HIV.
  • Ø I am afraid that some of my clients may be infected.
  • Ø Our lives is always in temptation and at risk
  • Ø Loss of manpower in our workplaces.








B.  HIV awareness services

2.1.    What HIV awareness services do you as women who interact a lot with men receive from the implementers?

Probe on the IRC supported services on the following:

  • Prevention
    • Ø Very little awareness services have targeted us.
    • Ø We only hear from other people, but no implementer has come out to talk to us particularly in our places of work.
    • Treatment of those infected
      • Ø ARVs are available at Lodwar District Hospital
      • Available and use of male condoms and female condoms
        • Ø MOH and Merlin fill the condom dispensers and are available at the bars.
        • Ø Only male condoms are available. No female condoms.
        • Ø Some of our clients do not prefer using condoms.
        • Ø Some clients do not know how to use the condom properly.
        • Ø Many people prefer buying branded condoms to using MOH supplied condom, because they look attractive.

2.2.    Are the HIV awareness services you receive adequate?

  • Ø Awareness services are not adequate to all, we are not well informed about HIV/AIDS.

2.3.           What other efforts can be made for you to get better HIV prevention services that serve you well?

  • Ø We should be educated and trained on HIV/AIDS
  • Ø IRC to organise training for us.
  • Ø Empower us to know how to use condoms properly.
  • Ø Constant supply of male and female condoms.

2.4.      What would be your role as women who interact a lot with men in promoting HIV prevention awareness in this town?

  • Ø To advise our male clients to use condom properly always.
  • Ø Educate others on how to use condom at our workplaces.
  • Ø Always carry condoms for protection.
  • Ø Get one sexual partner.
  • Ø Reduce the number of sexual partners to reduce the risk.
  • Ø I need to talk freely about prevention to my clients.

 C.  Counselling and testing services

3.1.    Where do you receive your C/T services in this town?

  • Ø Lodwar District Hospital (Lab and VCT)
  • Ø Even pregnant women are tested
  • Ø Kanamkemer dispensary.
  • Ø Mobile VCT by Merlin
  • Ø Napetet dispensary
  • Ø Nakwamekwi Dispensary.

Probe on:

  • Access/distance
    • Ø The services are near to us, but depend on individual how wants them.


3.2.           When do you – as women who interact a lot with men – seek C/T services?

Why do you seek CT services?

  • Ø When I am suspecting that am sick.
  • Ø I go after every three months just to be sure of myself.
  • Ø To know my status and if am infected to plan for my life.
  • Ø I have not visited any VCT in my Life since I was faithful to my husband before we divorced but now I will visit because I meet with many men.

Probe on:

(a)  Challenges in accessing services

  • Ø Fear of many questions asked in VCT.
  • Ø I fear to know that I have HIV.
  • Ø Stress associated with AIDS.
  • Ø Because I have not used a condom, may be I am infected.
  • Ø I do not want anybody to know my status.
  • Ø I fear to tell others my status because they will reject me.
  • Ø Many people think that HIV for prostitutes only.

(b) How we can improve

  • Ø Come and counsel and test us at our places of work.
  • Ø Encourage sexual partners to know their status together.
  • Ø Mass campaign for counselling and testing services.

3.5.    (a)      Can you comment on stigma associated to HIV in this town?

  • Ø Stigma is still high in Lodwar town.
  • Ø People who are positive are isolated and called name like; walking coffins etc.
  • Ø Many people fear to test for HIV because they fear others will know.

(b)     What can be done to lessen the stigma associated to HIV in this community?

  • Ø Create more awareness of HIV.
  • Ø Give people information.
  • Ø Take testing to the people.
  • Ø People to change their attitudes about those infected with HIV.
  • Ø PLHWA to be supported.

(c)      How do you think you as women who interact a lot with men can contribute towards lessening stigma on HIV in this town?

Do not talk badly about PLWHA

Support colleagues who are infected.

Be well informed about HIV/AIDS.

Tell my colleagues that stigma is bad.

D. Treatment and Support

 4.1.           What kinds of support services are available in the community for PWHA?

  • Ø ARVS
  • Ø Nutritional support.
  • Ø Counseling
  • Ø Spiritual support
  • Ø They are allowed to form support groups

4.2.    Where do PWHA access ARVs?

  • Ø Lodwar District Hospital
  • Ø Napetet dispensary
  • Ø Nakwamekwi

 E. Sexually transmitted diseases

4.1.    What is your view on STI among women who interact a lot with men?

  • Ø STI are high especially if condoms are not use.
  • Ø Some times I fear to disclose that I have STI.
  • Ø They are related to HIV because are also sexually transmited

4.2.           What is the status of STI treatment in this town?

  • Ø STI treatment is readily available in LDH and private clinics.

List in order of preference where women who interact a lot with men prefer to receive STI services.

  • Ø We would prefer LDH because there are no charges.

4.2.           Assess in your own view the STI services in the IRC supported site.

Probe on:

(a)  Access

  • Ø STI services are accessible

(b) Quality of services

  • Ø Services are of quality

(c)  Staff handling

  • Ø Good handling but sometimes a lot of delays.

(d) Confidentiality

  • Ø Is not very much guaranteed, some staff my leak your secrets.

(e)  Other treatment alternatives

  • Ø Herbal medicines by Kenya Neem Foundation
  • Ø Maasai herbs

4.4.    What more can be done by:

  • the implementers
    • Ø Continue to make STI services free and available.
    • Ø All staff to maintain confidentiality.
    •  Yourselves; to improve on the delivery of the services you receive from the implementing partner?
    • Ø To go for STI check ups always
    • Ø To get early treatment if I have STI.
    • Ø Use condom to protect myself from STI

 F. Home based care

6.1.           Comment on the status of HBC in your community.

  • Ø We are not aware of HBC services in this community

Probe on:

  • Need

There is need of HBC services because many patients are at their home.

  • Availability


  • Effectiveness


6.2.    What in your view would be your role in making the HBC services better in this community?

  • Ø Inform others that these services are there.

 G.  Summary

7.1.    What role do you think you can play in shaping the condition of HIV/AIDS in this community?

  • Ø Educate community about dangers of HIV/AIDS.
  • Ø Use condoms to protect my self and others.
  • Ø Make condoms available to my clients always.
  • Ø Give information to my colleagues and employer.
  • Ø Support those infected.
  • Ø Seek Counselling and testing.
  • Ø Seek treatment if I am infected

7.2.           What can us as service providers do to work better with you in this town – for better delivery of services?

  • Ø Train us on HIV/AIDS
  • Ø Target even our employers
  • Ø Constant supply of condoms to us

7.3.    What in your view are the major strengths/successes of the HIV/AIDS program in this town?

  • Ø Availability of free ARVs.
  • Ø Availability of CT services.

7.4.    What are the major weaknesses of this program?

  • Ø No nutritional support for PLWHA.
  • Ø Some medicines are sometimes missing
  • Ø We are not directly targeted.
  • Ø Few posters and pamphlets available in Bars.

7.5             What can be done in general by the implementers to improve services?

  • Ø Improve nutrition component.
  • Ø More CT services
  • Ø Make medicines available
  • Ø Increase posters and pamphlets
  • Ø Target all groups in the community

Any other comments they may have.





Posted on March 3, 2012, in Categorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: