Exploring the General Health Situation and Risk Behaviors of Street Based Female Sex Workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The overall aim of this thesis is to explore the health situations and risky behaviors of street based female sex workers in Addis Ababa. Street-based sex workers face different kinds of health problems. Their health problems are more severe and worse than the other classes of sex workers. I employed qualitative research method using in-depth interview and focus group discussion. The fundamental reason which leads to the selection of this particular design is the need to perform an exploratory enquiry on the general health situations and risk behaviors of street based female sex workers. Data analyses were based on the theme such as general health situations, risk behaviors, coping strategies, and heath seeking behaviors. Findings showed that inconsistent use of condom due to violence, rape and non-paid partner were prevalent. Due to this most of the respondents’ have the experience of unwanted pregnancy, abortion and STIs. Most of the respondents use substances and alcohol. The majority of respondents reported stigmatization and discrimination by clients, some community members and the police. To concluded most respondents reported a long list of health problems including: back pain, kidney problem, depression, headache, gastritis, swelling of the leg, STIs, anemia, fever, diarrhea, typhoid, substance use, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, physical and psychological problems were also mentioned. Among these STIs, substance use, unwanted pregnancy, abortion, physical violence and psychological problems were prevalent. Finally the implication to social work practice tried to understand the over wellbeing and experiences of street based female sex workers has been immensely important in identifying social work interest areas. These in turn call for a holistic approach in any attempt made to improve the lives of these people



Social Work