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Skills education/safe sex negotiation with isolated sex workers at risk.
Cowlishaw J
December 30, 1998
Int Conf AIDS. 1998;12:1014 (abstract no. 60076). Unique Identifier :

ISSUE: Sex workers at increased risk of HIV/AIDS and STI's through lack of peer support and education require access to interpersonal and safe sex negotiation programs. PROJECT: Given the current Prostitution laws in Queensland, which force sex workers to operate on a totally solo basis, there is a significant lack of opportunity to develop effective interpersonal and safe sex negotiation skills within the occupational setting. A pilot project was undertaken to address this need demonstrated and felt by the target population. Through the application of structured group work, participants undertook cumulative experiential learning where practical skills were put into effect. Group curriculum included the development of skills in communication, assertiveness, conflict resolution and self-awareness. Facilitation was undertaken by staff who were both professionally qualified and peer educators. Additional support strategies comprised one-to-one counselling, HIV/AIDS and sexual health education, and distribution of condoms. RESULTS: Participant evaluation findings indicated a high level of client satisfaction with the pilot project, with expectations surpassed and practical skills gained. Informal qualitative research indicated efficient behaviour modification resulting in the creation of more equitable relationships in both sex workers professional and private lives. Participants also reported improved negotiation capabilities, enhanced self-confidence and the ability to exercise more control over their own health. Additional outcomes were the emergence of a social support group as a result of the group process. LESSONS LEARNED: Sex workers who do not have access to the inherent peer education available in a parlour situation benefit greatly from group work in a supportive and culturally appropriate environment.

MEETING ABSTRACTS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/*PREVENTION & CONTROL/ TRANSMISSION Adult Female *Health Education Human HIV Infections/*PREVENTION & CONTROL/TRANSMISSION *Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice Male Negotiating Pilot Projects *Prostitution Queensland Risk Sexually Transmitted Diseases/*PREVENTION & CONTROL/TRANSMISSION