HIV Risk Behaviour and Health Care Service Avilability among Female Sex Workers in Yangon, Myanmar



Background: Myanmar is one of the 35 countries which accounts for 90% of global new HIV infection. HIV prevalence among FSW in Yangon is the second highest in Asia Pacific Region. Sex work in Myanmar is illegal and stigma and discrimination against FSW in the community and health care setting cause hindering them access to HIV services.


Objective: To explore risk behaviours and availability of health care services related to HIV among Female Sex Workers in Yangon Myanmar.


Methods: The study was a cross-sectional analytical study with non-probability, targeted snow ball sampling method using quantitative questionnaires. The study included 220 participants of FSW population residing in Yangon, Myanmar. Data collection was done with FSW peer outreach workers and analysed with SPSS Version 23.


Results: Consistent condom use among FSW was 20% with non-client partners and 30% with the clients. There was significant association between condom use at last sex with the clients and HIV status. Less than 50% of participants used condom at last sex with their non-client partners and 71% of FSW used condom at last sex with the clients. HIV positive rate was 18.8% among FSW who did not use condom at last sex with the clients compared to only 7.1% positivity among those who used condom at last sex with the clients. 92% of respondents received condom from outreach and knew place to go for HIV testing. 74% of the respondents tested HIV within one year and received results.


Conclusion: Condom use at last sex with paying clients has significant association with HIV status and the practice of condom use is lower among female sex worker with regular or non-client partners. Most of the female sex workers of all types usually went to key population service centres or NGO clinics for HIV services including HIV testing and treatment, STI treatment and prevention interventions.


Key words: FSW, risk behaviour, service availability, exposure to interventions, Yangon, Myanmar.