Online Program

Recommendations for recruiting male partners of female sex workers for HIV research

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 9:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.

Paul J. Fleming, MPH, Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Clare Barrington, PhD, MPH, Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Melchor Moya, Centro de Orientacion e Investigacion Integral, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Martha Perez, Instituto Dermatológico y Cirugía de Piel, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Yeycy Donastorg, MD, MPH, Instituto Dermatológico y Cirugia de Piel, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Deanna Kerrigan, PhD, MPH, Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: Female sex workers (FSW) have been a focus of HIV-prevention research but identifying and reaching male partners of FSW is more challenging because they are not easily identifiable and may be reluctant to participate in research. This study aims to identify strategies for recruiting male partners of FSW into HIV research.

Methods: We analyzed qualitative interview data from FSW (n=20) and regular male partners of FSW (n=20) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Participants were asked to provide recommendations for how to engage men, in particular male partners of FSW, in HIV research. We systematically analyzed data using thematic coding techniques.

Results: Participants said men would prefer to be interviewed at a private location rather than recruited in bars, discos, or sex establishments. Most participants suggested recruiting male partners by having FSWs refer their sexual partners or having men refer their male friends. A few men cautioned that their friends could be hesitant to be interviewed about private sexual behaviors. Most male participants in these studies, however, enjoyed being interviewed and felt they could persuade male peers to participate. Participants did not see HIV-testing as a significant barrier to men's participation, though they acknowledged that some men are reluctant to test due to denial or fear of results.

Conclusions: Findings support using social and sexual network referrals to reach male partners of FSW. Establishing an environment of respect and trust in the research setting can aid these referral processes as individuals who participate communicate their positive experiences to their networks.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify strategies for recruiting men (specifically male clients of female sex workers) into HIV research.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, Sex Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on multiple research projects that required recruiting high-risk heterosexual men into HIV or violence research projects. Among my scientific interests are how to best involve men into HIV programming and research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.