Sex workers and their clients are listed in the Uganda National HIV Prevention Strategy as most at risk populations (MARPs); groups which have a higher than average risk of acquiring HIV. The prevalence of HIV in sex workers is five to six times the average prevalence in the population.
Complex sexual networks involving sex workers, the clients of sex workers and the partners of the clients of sex workers create bridges that carry HIV across to the general population
Factors that put female sex workers at particular risk of contracting HIV are:
_ Multiple partners
_ Inconsistent use of condoms
_ Abuse of alcohol and drugs
_ Migration, mobility and people trafficking
_ Social and legal issues
_ Limited access to care and treatment
_ Fatalistic attitudes
The review of the evidence shows that there is an urgent need to upscale targeted HIV prevention efforts to sex workers.