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)

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