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Effectiveness of an Adapted Evidence-Based Woman-Focused Intervention for Sex Workers and Non-Sex Workers: The Women's Health Co-op in South Africa

An article in the Journal of Drug Issues, Volume 41, Issue 2, Spring 2011, p.233-252.

South Africa’s concurrent epidemics of HIV, substance use, and gender-based violence point to the urgent need for interventions that address the intersectional nature of these issues. A community-based randomized trial assessed the efficacy of an adapted evidence-based Woman-Focused HIV intervention addressing all three issues with sex workers and non-sex workers. At 6-month follow-up, non-sex workers in the Woman-Focused intervention reported significantly lower mean numbers of days drinking alcohol in the previous 30 days, were significantly less likely to meet DSM-IV criteria for alcohol dependence, were more likely to report using a condom at last sex with a main partner, and were less likely to report sexual abuse by a maain partner in the previous 90 days. Sex workers in the Woman-Focused intervetnion were significantly less likely to report physical abuse by a main partner. The findings suggest that gender-focused interventions can be effective for vulnerable women and should be offered more broadly.

(abstract authors’ own)


Human Rights and Law


Wendee M. Wechsberg, William A. Zule, Winnie K. Luseno, Tracy L. Kline, Felicia A. Browne, Scott P. Novak, Rachel Middlesteadt Ellerson