Original Articles

Transactional sex in the fishing communities along Lake Victoria, Kenya: a catalyst for the spread of HIV

Published in: African Journal of AIDS Research
Volume 11, issue 1, 2012 , pages: 9–15
DOI: 10.2989/16085906.2012.671267
Author(s): ZacharyA KwenaCentre for Microbiology Research, Kenya, Elizabeth BukusiCentre for Microbiology Research, Kenya, Enos OmondiCentre for Microbiology Research, Kenya, Musa Ng'ayoCentre for Microbiology Research, Kenya, KingK HolmesDepartment of Global Health, United States


The study describes the nature, context and implications of a unique form of transactional sexual relationships in the fishing communities along Lake Victoria in Kisumu County, Kenya. We conducted 12 focus group discussions and 17 key informant interviews among fishermen, fishmongers and fish transporters in Kisumu. Women fishmongers in the fishing communities commonly form relationships with fishermen, which are often sexual, as part of the jaboya system, wherein women who wish to sell fish in the market secure the rights to purchase the fish caught by the fishermen. Due to the nature and context of the sexual intercourse, sex typically occurs in a hurried manner, often without preparation or protection. Thus, by engaging in a web of these relationships, conducted in contexts that compromise their ability to practice safer sex, men and women in these fishing communities are at increased risk of HIV.

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