Background: HIV and AIDS continue to challenge the health sector and economies in low and middle-income countries. Effectiveness condom use in preventing transmission of HIV is jeopardized due to recent reported decline in condom use. Alcohol serving venues are meeting points for sex partner which is a significant determinant of risk sexual practices while gender inequities impose challenges to women in negotiating safe sex.
Methods: Cross sectional exploratory study was conducted which deployed a qualitative method in data collection. Purposive sampling was used to select fourteen study participants. In-Depth Interview guide was used to gather information from female bar workers on perceptions and experiences in sexual relationships that are initiated following their interaction with male customers in alcohol serving settings and their negotiation for safe sex. This study explored sexual relationship power of Female Bar Workers (FBWs) in safe sex negotiations as they interact in alcohol serving venues in Kinondoni municipality in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Data was analysed manually by using thematic approach.
Results: Negotiation ability and sexual relationship power continue to be a key determinant of safe or unsafe sexual practices in sexual relationships of female bar workers. Although power to negotiate and make decisions towards safe sex was widely reported by female bar workers when they engage in casual sexual relationships, such power is outweighed by their own willingness to engage in multiple sexual relationships to supplement their meagre incomes.
Conclusion: Health promotion should continue to focus on behaviour change interventions with consideration of gendered roles and power in sexual relationships.
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