AIDS and Behavior

, 13:449 | Cite as

Effects of Micro-Enterprise Services on HIV Risk Behaviour Among Female Sex Workers in Kenya’s Urban Slums

  • Willis Omondi OdekEmail author
  • Joanna Busza
  • Chester N. Morris
  • John Cleland
  • Elizabeth N. Ngugi
  • Alan G. Ferguson
Original Paper


This study assessed individual-level effects of adding micro-enterprise services to a peer-mediated HIV/AIDS intervention among 227 female sex workers (FSWs) in Kenya. Survey data were collected in May–July 2003 and July–August 2005. Two-thirds of participants had operational businesses by end-line survey. Nearly half reported to have stopped sex work. Self-reported weekly mean number of all sexual partners changed from 3.26 (SD 2.45) at baseline to 1.84 (SD 2.15) at end-line survey (P < 0.001). Weekly mean number of casual partners did not change significantly. Weekly mean number of regular partners changed from 1.96 (SD 1.86) to 0.73 (SD 0.98) over the follow-up period (P < 0.001). Consistent condom use with regular partners increased by 18.5% and remained above 90% with casual partners. Micro-enterprise services may empower FSWs by giving them an alternative livelihood when they wish to exit or reduce reliance on sex work. Determinants of successful business operation by FSWs deserve further research.


Microfinance Kenya Female sex workers Regular partners Sex work 



This study was undertaken by Willis Odek as part of a research training fellowship funded by The Wellcome Trust, London, United Kingdom (UK), under Health Consequences of Population Change (HCPC) Programme (Grant: 072118/Z/03/Z). Strengthening STI/HIV Control in Kenya Project (SHCP) was supported by a grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (KE30138-P.O. #7019662). Joanna Busza and John Cleland taught, supervised and mentored Willis Odek during his training for Master of Science (MSc) in Demography and Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, as a component of the Wellcome Trust’s fellowship. Alan G. Ferguson, Chester N. Morris and Elizabeth N. Ngugi mentored Willis Odek during field work. A special appreciation is expressed to all the women participating in the programme that was studied and the research assistants who helped with data collection for their great cooperation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Willis Omondi Odek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joanna Busza
    • 2
  • Chester N. Morris
    • 3
  • John Cleland
    • 2
  • Elizabeth N. Ngugi
    • 1
  • Alan G. Ferguson
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Community HealthUniversity of NairobiNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Centre for Population Studies, London School of Hygiene and Tropical MedicineLondonUK
  3. 3.Department of Medical MicrobiologyUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.ConstellafuturesNairobiKenya

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