Barmaids as an HIV/AIDS High Risk Group in Tanzania

Rocky R. J Akarro


The aim of this article is to show how alcohol use renders women into high risk behaviour in Tanzania. Increasing HIV/AIDS prevalence rates and its impact on physical and psychosocial health is a worldwide public health concern. Engagement in multiple sex relations is hereby regarded as a proxy to high risk behaviour. Intrinsic factors associated with alcohol are responsible for high risk behaviour among barmaids. Understanding the factors leading to high risk behaviour will help to go for appropriate interventions programs. To ascertain this, this study selected three areas of Tanzania: two with high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, and one with low prevalence to act as a control. The study selected a sample of 2820 barmaids from 447 bars in three different settings of Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, and Zanzibar. The barmaids were assessed through self administered structured questionnaire. Chi-square testresults show that age, education background, marital status, number of children, wage rate and use of alcohol were significant at 5% level in enhancing high risk behaviour. In the case of those who drink alcohol, odds ratio shows that they were 41.6 times (1/.024) more likely to have sex with several men without using a condom, thus significantly enhancing risk behaviour. Significant predictor high risk factors are wage rate, number of children, and alcohol use. Intervention of this risk behaviour should be tackled by addressing the significant predictor factors.


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