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A systematic review of the HIV burden among women engaged in sex work WESW in 50 low- and middle-income countries found that they had increased odds of HIV infection relative to the general female population. Poverty is the most commonly cited reason for involvement in sex work in SSA. Data will be collected at baseline pre-test , 6, 12, 18 and months post-intervention initiation. This study will use an embedded experimental mixed methods design where qualitative data will be collected post-intervention across all conditions to explore participant experiences. The study findings may advance our understanding of how best to implement gender-specific HIV prevention globally, engaging women across the HIV treatment cascade. While WESW in Uganda have long been the subject of surveillance studies, this highly vulnerable population has so far not been targeted by innovative and sustainable prevention intervention approaches despite the calls from researchers in the region [ 10 — 13 ]. Poverty is the most commonly cited reason for involvement in commercial sex work in SSA [ 20 — 23 ]. In Uganda, where poverty and unemployment rates are disproportionately high among women [ 24 ], transactional sex is a survival strategy [ 25 , 26 ]. A growing body of evidence suggests that HIV prevention interventions must address risk factors beyond the individual level to be effective [ 27 , 28 ].
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