Willingness to use pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention among female sex workers: A cross-sectional study in China

Bin Peng, Xiaowei Yang, Yan Zhang, Jianghong Dai, Hao Liang, Yunfeng Zou, Jinkun Luo, Hongbin Peng, Xiaoni Zhong, Ailong Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a strategy developed to prevent individuals who are human immunodefciency virus (HIV)-negative from developing HIV infection. In China, while conducting a clinical trial to investigate the effectiveness and safety of PrEP, we performed this survey to assess the willingness of female sex workers to use PrEP, and identify predictors of this willingness. Methods: From July 2009 to April 2010, a cross-sectional study was carried out in four provinces of China. We recruited 1611 female sex workers who completed a self-administered survey to assess their awareness of and intention to use PrEP. The survey also canvassed demographic, behavioral, and psychosocial variables. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression models were ftted to identify predictors of intent to use PrEP. Results: In total, 69% of the women (95% confdence interval [CI] 66.7-71.3) reported intent to use PrEP, and 12% (95% CI 10.5-13.7) had used drugs in the past to prevent a sexually transmitted infection. Further, 16.5% (95% CI 14.7-18.4) had previously heard of PrEP, and 1.4% (95% CI 0.9-2.1) had used PrEP previously to prevent HIV infection. Multivariate analy- sis indicated the following signifcant predictors of intent to use PrEP: Han ethnicity (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.446; P = 0.011), urban residence (AOR 1.302; P = 0.027), knowledge about transmission of HIV/acquired immune defciency virus syndrome (AIDS, AOR 1.817; P = 0.0007), a history of sexually transmitted infection (AOR 1.830; P, 0.0001), a history of using medication to prevent a sexually transmitted disease (AOR 2.547; P, 0.0001), and willingness to access knowledge about HIV/AIDS (AOR 2.153; P, 0.0001). Conclusion: The majority of female sex workers reported intent to use PrEP if it is safe and effective. Given that most of the participants had never heard of PrEP before, we strongly recommend that educational materials be developed with detailed introduction of PrEP. The risks and benefts of PrEP use should be fully explained to potential users when promoting PrEP in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-158
Number of pages10
JournalHIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care
StatePublished - 2012


  • Female sex workers
  • Human immunodefciency virus
  • Infection
  • Pre-exposure prophylaxis
  • PrEP
  • Willingness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology
  • Dermatology


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