Intentional and Unintentional Condom Breakage and Slippage in the Sexual Interactions of Female and Male Sex Workers and Clients in Mombasa, Kenya


We examined why male condoms broke or slipped off during commercial sex and the actions taken in response among 75 female and male sex workers and male clients recruited from 18 bars/nightclubs in Mombasa, Kenya. Most participants (61/75, 81%) had experienced at least one breakage or slippage during commercial sex. Many breakages were attributed to the direct actions of clients. Breakages and slippages fell into two main groups: those that were intentionally caused by clients and unintentional ones caused by inebriation, forceful thrusting during sex and incorrect or non-lubricant use. Participant responses included: stopping sex and replacing the damaged condoms, doing nothing, getting tested for HIV, using post-exposure prophylaxis and washing. Some sex workers also employed strategies to prevent the occurrence of condom breakages. Innovative client-oriented HIV prevention and risk-reduction interventions are therefore urgently needed. Additionally, sex workers should be equipped with skills to recognize and manage breakages.

Authors & affiliation: 
Masvawure TB1, Mantell JE2, Tocco JU2, Gichangi P3,4,5, Restar A6, Chabeda SV3, Lafort Y4, Sandfort TGM2. Author information 1 Department of Sociology and Anthropology, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, USA. 2 HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. 3 International Centre for Reproductive Health, Mombasa, Kenya. 4 International Centre for Reproductive Health-Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. 5 Department of Anatomy, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya. 6 Brown School of Public Health, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
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Published In: 
AIDS Behav. 2017 Oct 3. doi: 10.1007/s10461-017-1922-3
Publication date: 
Tuesday, October 3, 2017