Currently submitted to: JMIR Research Protocols
Date Submitted: Jul 6, 2019
Open Peer Review Period: Jul 15, 2019 - Jul 29, 2019
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Rapid Assessment and Response Study of Street-based Female Sex Workers in Iran; Study Protocol
Sex workers are considered as high-risk groups in the third wave of AIDS transmission in Iran because the risk of sexually transmitted diseases increases by the repeated change of sex partner and unprotected and frequent sexual activities. however, reaching to them to assess their needs and providing services is challenging.
The main aims of this study was performing a rapid assessment of situation and interventions of HIV/AIDS-related risky behaviors among female sex workers(FSWs) and population size of women sex-worker at national levels in Iran.
A cross-sectional mixed design (quantitative and qualitative) by Rapid Assessment and Response (RAR) method was carried out during 20 weeks in 21 cities (provincial capital) in Iran to explore HIV AIDS related high-risk behavior in female sex-workers. In qualitative phase data collecting, including observation, in-person interviews and group discussions with key informants were used. In quantitative phase, 965 SbFSWs were approached using venue-based application of Time Location Sampling (TLS) method. The sampling frame (venues list) were initially identified by interviewed with key informant in qualitative phase.
From October 2016 to March 2017 (~20 weeks) 84 focus group-discussions was done and 420 individuals were interviewed. The participants in these groups were included governmental and non-governmental key informants and peer- persons (FSWs, pimps, Ex-FSWs, Customers). we successfully recruited 878 SFSW in 19 cities. the response rate was 93.05%).
We found RAR methodology to be feasible and acceptable to approach and recruit street-based female sex worker in many cities in Iran. the study was provided valuable data and evidence from this hard to reach population for policymakers in Iran. Designing and implementation of the study involve contributions from academics as well as program managers and policymakers. This study protocol could be a guide for researchers in this field and could be referenced by other manuscripts that reported the results of this study.
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