[health menu] XI International Conference on AIDS
July 7-12, 1996

Ghee A.E.
University of Washington, Seattle, USA

Tempongko S., Tiglao T.
University of the Philippines

Wi T.E.
AIDSCAP/Philippines, Manila, Philippines


Communications Patterns Related to STD Findings From a Qualitative Research Activity Among Female Sex Workers In Manila and Cebu City, Philippines


Describe clinic-based communications between female sex workers (FSWs) and health care workers (HCWs) for STD-related health education messages.


A total of 858 informants in Metro Manila and Metro Cebu were interviewed by trained interviewers using 13 different interview guides between December 1994 and May 1995. Open-ended responses were coded and analyzed using frequency distribution and content analysis.


Health care workers (HCWs) were mentioned by FSW informants as a common source of STD information and many described HCWs as reliable information sources. Out of 90 HCWs interviewed, 19% said that beyond giving a prescription, they recommended condom use. Other STD-related messages were mentioned more infrequently, including compliance with treatment, abstinence during treatment, and presenting for a regular clinical exam. Some HCWs gave general health messages, such as not drinking alcohol (rarely specified as contraindication for antibiotics), maintaining proper hygiene, and resting. Some messages were arguably impractical or unclear, including sticking to one partner and being careful with discharge to avoid infecting others. Some of the same messages were reported by FSW informants A few FSWs also mentioned other topics, including avoiding sex during menstruation and changes in diet. FSWs expressed mixed feelings about their interactions with HCWs. Informants most commonly wanted HCWs to cover other means of prevention and explain illnesses in an appropriate way.


Study results are helpful to improve the quality of STD services, particularly those offered through the social hygiene clinic system. Both HCWs and FSWs reported several messages not specific for STD case management that were being transmitted in the clinics. Considering the extreme time limitations nearly all STD clinic staff face and the emphasis on syndromic management of STD, communication in the clinic setting should be streamlined. HCW should remove general, non-specific, irrelevant and unrealistic messages and instead standardize the priority messages for interpersonal and other types of communication occurring in the STD clinic setting.

T.E. Wi
c/o Alfred Nimocks, AIDSCAP
2101 Wilson Blvd., #700
Arlington, Virginia, USA, 22201
Tel: 703.516.9779; Fax. 703.516.9781

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Created: August 3, 1996
Last modified: August 4, 1996

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