In the Republic of Moldova, bio-behavioural studies are carried out at regular intervals among high-risk groups. The Integrated Bio-Behavioral Study (IBBS) conducted in the Republic of Moldova determined that HIV prevalence among female sex workers (SW) ranged from 3.9% to 22.3% in 2016. The study conducted in 2020 establishes an HIV prevalence of 2.7% for Chisinau and Balti. In IBSS studies, in addition to the analysis of HIV infection, the share of other infections is also assessed, such as hepatitis, drug use, but also some knowledge about disease transmission, protection, certain risks. However, studies among people at higher risk of HIV infection (including the SW group) do not reflect aspects of their integration into the community and/or their involvement in community mobilisation.
In this context, we plan to carry out an operational study that will allow us to assess the level of training of SW women in Chisinau in community mobilization, including involvement in HIV control measures. This study will provide a clearer picture of the level of preparedness of SW women in community mobilization, will bring added value in terms of identifying solutions for interventions focused on HIV prevention and control among the SW risk group. The results of the study will also help to facilitate the implementation of advocacy group training activities to raise awareness and create an environment that supports key populations and contributes to reducing stigma and discrimination, as well as involving representatives of key populations in the planning and implementation of HIV prevention programmes.
The study will run from October to December 2021.