Factors influencing vulnerability to HIV/AIDs infection among domestic workers: a case of Malindi Constituency
Tsuma, Baruwa C
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Domestic workers, most of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have had to endure hardships and are not exempt from experiencing a host of reproductive health related problems such as unwanted pregnancy, unsafe abortion, STI and HIV/AIDs. The importance of domestic workers in the fight against HIV is apparent towards reduction of new HIV infection yet little is known about the factors influencing their vulnerability to HIV infection. The purpose of this study was to establish factors influencing vulnerability to HIV infection among domestic workers in Malindi constituency. The study was focused on 4 independent variables namely; knowledge levels on HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, health seeking behaviours on HIV prevention, access to mY prevention information and sexual harassment. The study had four research objectives and these were; L) To determine the extent to which knowledge levels of HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention among the domestic workers influence vulnerability to HIV infection., 2) to examine the extent to which health seeking behaviour on HIV prevention among the domestic workers influences vulnerability to HIV infection, 3) to identify the extent to which levels of access to mv prevention information among domestic workers influence vulnerability to HIV infection and 4) to find out the extent to which incidences of sexual harassment among domestic workers influences vulnerability to HIV infection among domestic workers in Malindi constituency. Literature has indicated that domestic workers are hard to reach population and endure some hardships that compromise their health and well being. It also provides evidence on vulnerability of the domestic workers as an invisible population. However, the literature did not provide trends of mv infection among the domestic workers as seen in other most at risk populations such as injection drug users, female sex workers and men who have sex with men. The study was undertaken through a descriptive research design and used only primary data in order to generate both quantitative and qualitative data in order to understand more about the domestic workers as little was known. A sample of 42 female domestic workers of ages 15 to 34 years old were selected from 6 zones (clusters) in Malindi town through a probability sampling technique. Data collection instruments were questionnaires and focus group discussion guide in order to get knowledge level on HIV transmission and prevention, health seeking behaviour, access to HIV prevention information and incidence of sexual harassment. The data collected was analyzed using EPI Info statistical package to generate mean, mode and median, then data was presented both in text and tabular form. Study findings showed that domestic workers in Malindi constituency were vulnerable to mv infection with a vulnerability of 48.1 % and was influenced by low knowledge level on mv transmission and prevention (27.5%), low levels of health seeking behaviour on mv prevention (30.%), low access to mv information (39.4%) and high prevalence of sexual harassment (72.5%). The study recommended that National AIDS Control Council (NACC) and Non Governmental Organizations to affirmatively grant local organizations working on mv &AIDS prevention programmes to target domestic workers to increase knowledge levels on HIV&AIDS transmission and prevention, improve health seeking behaviour and promote access to justice against sexual harassment in order to reduce the vulnerability to infection. The study also recommended further research to establish whether the vulnerability to HIV infection correlates with HIV prevalence among the domestic workers.