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Implementing Evidence-Based HIV Prevention for Female Sex Workers in Mexico: Provider Assessments of Feasibility and Acceptability

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This study examined service provider perceptions of feasibility and acceptability of implementing evidence-based practices for preventing HIV/AIDS and STIs in female sex workers (FSWs) in Mexico. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 124 directors, supervisors and counselors from 12 reproductive health clinics located throughout Mexico participating in a large randomized controlled trial to scale-up the use of a psychoeducational intervention designed to promote FSW condom use and enhance safer sex negotiation skills. Feasibility was based on assessment of personal, organizational and social costs, benefits, and capacity. Costs included anxiety over intervention competency, purchase of condoms and other supplies, expenses of laboratory tests for HIV/STIs, and stigma associated with FSWs. Benefits included increase in personal knowledge and experience, enhanced clinic reputation and service delivery capacity, and increased public health. Capacity was expressed in terms of provider skills to deliver the intervention and additional workload. Acceptability was expressed in terms of provider enthusiasm in delivering these services and FSWs willingness to receive the services. Service provider evaluations of feasibility and acceptability of implementing evidence-based prevention interventions are grounded in local contexts that define costs and benefits of and capacity for implementation and determine features of the intervention and its implementation that are acceptable.

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