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“But I Gathered My Courage”: HIV Self-Testing as a Pathway of Empowerment Among Ugandan Female Sex Workers

Wachinger, Jonas ; Kibuuka Musoke, Daniel ; Oldenburg, Catherine E. ; Bärnighausen, Till ; Ortblad, Katrina F. ; McMahon, Shannon A.

In: Qualitative Health Research, 31 (2021), Nr. 3. pp. 443-457. ISSN 1049-7323 (Druck-Ausg.), 1552-7557 (Online-Ausg.)

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HIV self-testing (HIVST) increases HIV testing in diverse populations, but little is known about the experiences of individuals who self-test. We used a five-step framework approach to analyze 62 qualitative interviews with 33 female sex workers (FSWs) participating in an HIVST trial in urban Uganda. Notions of empowerment emerged from the data, and findings were interpreted based on Kabeer’s empowerment framework of resources, agency, and achievements. We found that access to HIVST bolstered empowerment because it increased participant’s time and money (resources), control of testing circumstances and status disclosure (agency), and sense of competency (achievements). In addition, we found that knowledge of HIV status empowered participants to better control HIVrelated behaviors (agency) and recognize a new sense of self (achievements). This suggests that the availability of HIVST can facilitate feelings of empowerment, meriting a higher awareness for benefits outside of linkage to HIV treatment and prevention services.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Qualitative Health Research
Volume: 31
Number: 3
Publisher: Sage
Place of Publication: Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Edition: Zweitveröffentlichung
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2021 15:36
Date: 2021
ISSN: 1049-7323 (Druck-Ausg.), 1552-7557 (Online-Ausg.)
Page Range: pp. 443-457
Faculties / Institutes: Medizinische Fakultät Heidelberg > Institut für Public Health (IPH)
Subjects: 610 Medical sciences Medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: Uganda; East Africa; HIV self-testing; female sex worker; empowerment; resources; agency; achievements; qualitative; in-depth interviews
Additional Information: Dieser Beitrag ist aufgrund einer (DFG-geförderten) Allianz bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich. *** This publication is freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
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