Power, community mobilization, and condom use practices among female sex workers in Andhra Pradesh, India

AIDS. 2008 Dec:22 Suppl 5:S109-16. doi: 10.1097/01.aids.0000343769.92949.dd.


Objectives: We used a structural interventions framework to analyse the associations between power and condom use among a sample of female sex workers (FSW), and how exposure to a local community mobilization intervention (CMI) affects these associations.

Design: Data came from a cross-sectional survey of 812 FSW in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India, recruited through respondent-driven sampling.

Methods: We identified three types of power - collective power, control over work, and economic power, and three dimensions of collective power - collective identity, efficacy, and agency. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to analyse the relationship of these three types of power and exposure to a CMI with consistent condom use with clients.

Results: A total of 803 respondents exchanged sex with an occasional or regular client in the 7 days before the interview. Multivariate logistic regression shows that control over both the type of sex [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23-2.34] and the amount charged (AOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.12-2.16), and economic dependence (AOR 0.54, 95% CI 0.35-0.83) are associated with consistent condom use as is programme exposure (AOR 2.09, 95% CI 1.48-2.94). The interaction between programme exposure and collective agency was also significant (chi-square 6.62, P = 0.01). Among respondents who reported both programme exposure and high levels of collective agency, the odds ratio of consistent condom use was 2.5 times that of other FSW.

Conclusion: A structural interventions framework is useful for understanding HIV risk among FSW. More needs to be done to promote FSW control over work and access to economic resources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Community Networks / organization & administration*
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Internal-External Control
  • Middle Aged
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Safe Sex / psychology
  • Safe Sex / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Work / psychology*
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult