The study aimed to answer five questions using process and outcome evaluation. Quantitative and qualitative methods were combined to gain access to the difficult street-based community of sex workers. The mean age for women was 30 years with three-fourths of them were black. Upon entry it was found that 7% were infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and 17% were infected with syphilis which is correlated with crack cocaine use.Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used due to the difficulty of the environment where sex workers operate. This difficulty was due to their high-mobility, constantly shifting environment, economic and educational disadvantages of target groups, and illegal behaviors of prostitution and drug use. Methods used included questionnaires, open-ended interviews, and ethnographic field notes.Two factors were found important for successful recruitment. First, ease and free level of participation was exercised with no outside pressure to participate which freed the movement of participants in and out of the program. The use of former prostitute field workers who were members of the target population made them indigenous to the life of sex workers. These two factors created mutual trust between field staff and participants.Sex workers confirmed the fact that they feel at risk for AIDS. However AIDS was not their first concern as it came after money and drugs. Sex workers also demonstrated their knowledge about transmission of AIDS and intentions to avoid exposing themselves to HIV. Ninety-four percent of sex workers used condoms with customers while only 25% did it with boyfriend or steady partners.
Indigenous field workers were effective to reach the hidden population of sex workers and became role models towards AIDS prevention. Qualitative methods such as open-ended interview and ethnographic field notes were found useful because they provide the flexibility during data collection and allow approach to participants based on their terms.
Quantitative methods of epidemiological survey provide limited responses according the questions crafted in the questionnaire. Qualitative methods are used to explore how AIDS prevention can be integrated in the individual behavior. Qualitative findings could be used to add more specific questions and refine existing questions and categories of response. Questions should focus on the sexual behaviors in both working and private lives in future research.
Appropriateness for Evidenced Based Practice (EBP):
Evidence based Practice (EBP) usually involves four main steps. The first step is formulating the questions which were completed within our study as five questions were defined before the execution of the experiment. The second step involves finding evidence to answer the questions stated in step one. This was handled in the study by using epidemiological data, open-ended interviews, and ethnographic field notes. The third step involves appraisal and analysis of the data for validity, applicability and reliability. In our study, the data was statistically analyzed and found to be significant. The last step in EBP is the application of findings and evaluating the acceptance. The study applied its findings by building trust with participants and encouraging them to prevent the infection