A systematic review and metasynthesis of barriers and facilitators to negotiating consistent condom use among sex workers in Asia Academic Article uri icon


  • Female sex work accounts for about 15% of the global HIV burden in women. Asia is the region with the second highest attributable fraction of the HIV epidemic after sub-Saharan Africa. This review synthesises studies that depict the barriers and facilitators encountered by sex workers in Asia when negotiating consistent condom use. A total of 18 studies published between January 1989 and May 2015 were included in the review. Data were extracted, critically appraised and analysed using a thematic analysis approach. Individual-level factors related to sex workers' knowledge, perception and power, as well as interpersonal-level factors that encompassed dynamics with clients and peer-related factors, presented as both barriers and facilitators to sex workers' condom negotiation process. In addition, the structural environment of sex work, access to resources, poverty, stigma, the legal environment and the role of media were also identified as factors in influencing the condom negotiation process of sex workers. A multisectoral interventional approach that addresses the multilevel barriers encountered by sex workers in condom negotiation is needed. Awareness of safe-sex practice should be collectively enhanced among sex workers, clients and brothel managers.

publication date

  • 2016