Background Negligible data on clients of FSWs is available in Pakistan. Severe punishments like stoning to death for sex outside marriage etc, has made clients unusually cautious and researchers have shied away in carrying out researches on the clients of sex workers. An innovative psychological method has helped obtain significant information about clients.
Methods FSWs were asked to recall details about each of their 10 most recent clients through imagery conducted/guided by qualified Clinical Psychologists retrained to work with FSWs. FSWs were steered to remember client's: age, profession, time spent with them, place of risk taking, use of drugs, use of condom, who provided it, resistance if any against the use of condom. 120 FSWs out of 2055 FSWs recruited during recent surveillance round in six big cities of the country (20 FSWs from each city) were randomly selected. Each imagery session lasted 90–120 min. Profile of 1200 Clients was prepared.
Results 56.4% were less than 30 years (youngest: 13 years; oldest 75 years). 67.62% were married. Petty shop keepers, labourers and students constituted 62.18% of the clients and 81.4% of them lived in the same city. 51.84% were regular clients. In 59% of cases FSWs provided their own place for risk taking. Alcohol/Drugs were used in 53.31% cases. 45% of the clients left within 30 min. 52% of the clients bought oral or anal sex for extra money. Condom was used in 57% of the cases but in 58.46% of the cases it was provided by clients themselves. FSWs kept it with them to facilitate the clients. 78% of clients were worried about pregnancies and only 18% of clients worry about STIs. FSWs seldom tried to persuade Clients to use condoms and the most effective way was stated to be the fear of pregnancy.
Conclusions Clients belong to the same city mostly regular, are inclined to use condom particularly to avoid pregnancy but could be educated to use it to avoid STIs. Client's population is definitely receptive for the use of condoms. Making the FSWs keep a condom on herself is likely to increase the use of condoms.
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