Geographical associations of HIV prevalence in female sex workers from Nairobi, Kenya (2014-2017)

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Background: Kenya’s HIV epidemic is heterogeneously distributed. Although HIV incidence in Kenya has shown signs of recent decline, focused interventions are still needed for female sex workers (FSWs). Geo-spatially-informed approaches have been advocated for targeted HIV prevention. We quantified heterogeneity in HIV burden in Nairobi-based FSWs by place of origin within Kenya, and hotspots and residence within Nairobi.

Methods: Data were collected as part of enrolment in the Sex Workers Outreach Program (SWOP) in Nairobibetween 2014 to 2017. Prevalence ratios (PRs) were used to quantify the risk of HIV by high prevalence counties (HPC) using modified Poisson regression analyses. Crude and fully adjusted models were fitted to the data. In heterogeneity analyses, hotspots and residences were aggregated to the Nairobiconstituency level (n=17). Inequality in the geographic distribution of HIV prevalence was measured using the Gini coefficient.

Results: A total of 11,899 FSWs were included. Overall HIV prevalence was 16%. FSWs originating from HPC were at 2-fold increased risk of living with HIV in adjusted analysis (PR 1.95, 95% CI: 1.76-2.17). HIVprevalence was also highly heterogeneous by hotspot, ranging from 7% to 52% by hotspot (Gini coefficient: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.23-0.50). In contrast, constituency of residence had a Gini coefficient of 0.08 (95% CI: 0.06-0.10), suggesting minimal heterogeneity by residence.

Conclusion: HIV prevalence in FSW is heterogeneous by place of work within Nairobi, and by county of birth within Kenya. As HIV incidence declines and financial commitments flatline, tailoring interventions to FSWs at highest HIV risk becomes increasingly important.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes