Skip to main content

Table 2 Findings on socio-structural risk factors

From: Socio-demographic characteristics and risk factors for HIV transmission in female bar workers in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic literature review

Author Year CountrySocio-demographicsFactors promoting entry into bar workBar environment
Nagot 2002
Burkina Faso [9]
Ages 16–34; 36% foreign; 54% illiterate
Van Blerk 2007
Ethiopia [24]
Ages 14–19PovertyMany FBWs in debt to bar owner
Van Blerk 2008
Ethiopia [23]
Almost all migrated from other regionsFamily financial need; escape from FGM & early marriage; disowned by familySome clients give money without sex
Van Blerk 2011
Ethiopia [25]
Most migrated from rural areas
If in hometown, work in bars far from home
Current economic situation depends on type of bars they work in
Sori 2012
Ethiopia [3]
Often migrated from rural areas; 32% currently marriedEarly marriage leading to divorce leading to poverty 
Messersmith 2014 Ghana [6]Mean age 25; 47% completed high school; 75% unmarried; 19% married/cohabiting 6% divorcedPovertyVerbal and emotional abuse at bars common
Kishindo 1995a
Malawi [26]
Mean age 19; 5–8 years of education; 10% previously married, none now; 12% have children; 97% migrated from rural areasEconomic need for self or family; minority are looking for husbandFBWs are highly mobile and change between bars
Kishindo 1995b
Malawi [8]
Mean age 22; all have some formal education & are literate; almost all migrated from rural areasTo earn money (87%), incl. For school fees, to support family; to meet man with good job; unintended pregnancy
Mhalu 1991
Tanzania [27]
Mnyika 1995
Tanzania [28]
Talle 1995
Tanzania [7]
Mean age 20; most finished primary school; all single or divorced; many had teen pregnancyEconomic need; independent lifestyle; escape from gender roles
Typically poor but not the poorest prior to bar work
Talle 1998
Tanzania [10]
Education rate higher than average; most have multi-ethnic backgroundEconomic need; following friend/relative; freedom to make decisions; escape from rural life1 year post-interview, 90% had changed work place
Mgalla 1997
Tanzania [29]
Mean age 25; 80% have 5 years of education; Half migrated to district; 50% single, 50% divorced; most have childrenEconomic need; boredom; family troubles; left school due to pregnancy, illness, poverty or forced marriageBar business models vary: some pay FBWs wages, others do not
Riedner 2003
Tanzania [30]
Mean age 25; 54% attended secondary school; 21% living with partner, 44% widowed /divorced
Akarro 2009
Tanzania [1]
Modal age 20–24; 73% attended primary school; 81% single, 17% separated; 70% have children
Beckham 2013
Tanzania [31]
60% aged 20–29, 40% aged 30–39; 77% primary schooling; 57% single, 33% divorced /separated, 10% widowed; 90% have children
Ostermannn 2015
Tanzania [32]
Gysels 2002
Uganda [2]
Mean age 30; Marriages: mean of 2, if over 35 mean of 3.5; median of 2 childrenPoverty; family troubles; early, often forced, sex leading to pregnancy; easier than farm work
Ntozi 2003
Uganda [33]
Age range 15–30
  1. BW Bar work; CAGE Cut Down, Annoyed, Guilty and Eye Opener (alcohol use screening test); FBW Female bar worker; FGM Female genital mutilation; SW Sex work. Cells marked “-” were not addressed by the study in question