Barriers to Utilisation of Sexual Health Services by Female Sex Workers in Nepal

  •  Laxmi Ghimire    
  •  Edwin Teijlingen    


 Sexual health services are relatively rare in Nepal.  Female sex workers (FSWs) do not use health services as much as would be desirable. A study was conducted to identify barriers to access of sexual health services by FSWs in Nepal. A mixed-method approach consisting of a 425 questionnaire-based survey and 15 in-depth interviews were conducted in 2007.

One fifth of the FSWs had never visited health facilities. FSWs turned to private clinics followed by clinics belonging to non-governmental organisations and pharmacies for treatment. A combination of personal and service-related factors acted as critical barriers in accessing health services. Lack of confidentiality, discrimination and negative attitudes held by health care providers, poor communication between service providers and fear of exposure to the public as a sex worker were the major barriers to seeking sexual health services. These barriers should be taken into account while planning for  sexual health services.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.