Female Sex Workers’ Experiences Selling Sex during Pregnancy and Post-Delivery in South Africa

Lauren Parmley, Amrita Rao, Katherine Young, Zamakayise Kose, Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya, Mfezi Mcingana, Andy Lambert, Harry Hausler, Stefan Baral, Sheree Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Nearly 75 percent of female sex workers (FSWs) in Port Elizabeth, South Africa are mothers, many of whom engage in sex work during pregnancy or after delivery. We conducted in-depth interviews with 22 postpartum and 8 pregnant FSWs in Port Elizabeth. Interview guides were used to probe women's experiences, challenges, and concerns about selling sex during pregnancy and post-delivery in a high-HIV-prevalence context. Interviews were transcribed, translated, and coded using thematic analysis. FSWs experienced and feared violence by clients during pregnancy, highlighting the need for safe work environments. Further, FSWs expressed concerns about HIV acquisition and vertical transmission during the perinatal period. Physical challenges related to pregnancy affected women's ability to work. Returning to work post-delivery presented barriers to initiating and practicing exclusive breastfeeding. As a result, many FSWs practiced mixed feeding. Interventions, tailored to respond to FSW's challenges and experiences, may offer improved health outcomes in this context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalStudies in family planning
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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selling
pregnancy
worker
experience
interview
work environment
violence
ability
health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Female Sex Workers’ Experiences Selling Sex during Pregnancy and Post-Delivery in South Africa. / Parmley, Lauren; Rao, Amrita; Young, Katherine; Kose, Zamakayise; Phaswana-Mafuya, Nancy; Mcingana, Mfezi; Lambert, Andy; Hausler, Harry; Baral, Stefan; Schwartz, Sheree.

In: Studies in family planning, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Parmley, Lauren ; Rao, Amrita ; Young, Katherine ; Kose, Zamakayise ; Phaswana-Mafuya, Nancy ; Mcingana, Mfezi ; Lambert, Andy ; Hausler, Harry ; Baral, Stefan ; Schwartz, Sheree. / Female Sex Workers’ Experiences Selling Sex during Pregnancy and Post-Delivery in South Africa. In: Studies in family planning. 2019.
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