T12-P-05 Prevention of HIV/AIDS through empowerment of safe sex practices among sex workers, Istanbul, Turkey

Özgülnar N., Eren B.

9th Congress of the European Federation of Sexology, Rome, Italy, 13 - 17 April 2008, vol.17, no.1, pp.165

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Volume: 17
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/s1158-1360(08)72978-5
  • City: Rome
  • Country: Italy
  • Page Numbers: pp.165


Objectives: support registered/unregistered sex workers (SWs), including transgender SWs in Istanbul by reducing stigmatization and discrimination against them better control over their health regarding STIs including HIV/AIDS and to prevent HIV/AIDS.

Design/method: This project which is held by the Human Resource Development Foundation between 2004 and 2005. SWs received support for their health, social and legal problems through the support center and peer educators. “Peer Educator” training courses were conducted. One psychologist, one physician, four field workers and peer educators worked to reach the target group. Individual counseling and training were provided to SWs who came to the support center. Information, condoms and brochures were given to SWs that worked in-house, out on the streets. Three focus groups were established to evaluate data.

Results: 761 sex workers received one-to-one training and counseling in the support center. 439 people received 4390 condoms and 300 brochures at fields. Peer educator training courses were implemented with the participation of 46 people, but eight SWs worked as peer educators. They reached 575 people who received condoms and were informed on STIs. 2875 condoms distributed through peer educators.

Conclusions: Even though peer education is applied according to the rules and principles, it doesn’t seem to be an appropriate method for SWs. They especially give more importance to being informed by professionals. Despite being informed, receiving condoms raised awareness; the SWs are far from taking individual responsibility on protecting their health. The future projects and research shall focus on supporting individual risk assessment, ability to take responsibility.