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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-9

Predictors of unprotected sexual intercourse among female commercial sex workers in Kano, North-Western Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, University of Abuja, Nigeria
4 Department of Community Medicine, University of Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
U M Lawan
Medical Research Consultancy Unit, Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, P.M.B 3452, Kano
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Background: Sex business is global, but the health issues associated with it are especially more critical and urgent in the West African sub region where more than a third of the sex workers are reported to be infected with HIV. This study was carried out to determine condom use and the socio-economic and behavioural predictors of unprotected sexual intercourse among commercial sex workers in Kano, Nigeria. Methods: We used a descriptive cross-sectional design to study a random sample of 248 brothel based female commercial sex workers in Sabon-Gari, Kano, Nigeria. Data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires and analysed with Epi Info® 3.5.1. Results: Majority (96.8%) of the sex workers were within 18- 38 years of age, indigent Hausas (33.9%) and Tiv (31.8%), single (50.8%) and had at least secondary school education (51.7%). Most (97.6%) were in the trade for 5 years or less and 44.3% had other sources of income. Majority used one or more of addictive substances (82.3%), entertained an average of three customers per day and also engaged in casual sex (85.5%). Up to 73.4%> and 45.3% were consistent with condoms at sex with clients and with intimate partners, respectively. However, 7.0% never used condoms during casual sex. After standardization, marital status, having other source of income and substance abuse were the only predictors of unprotected sexual intercourse. Conclusion: Sex workers engage in unhealthy sex for social and economic reasons. They should be empowered through vocational training to acquire sustainable sources of income. Regulatory authorities should also work with development partners/Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to package and implement a formidable health strategy/intervention for the control of substance abuse and promotion of safer sex among both the sex workers and their clients.

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