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A rapid assessment of Vietnamese sex workers working in Cambodia: high risk of HIV transmission upon entry into Cambodia.

Kim AA, Chhea C, Page-Shafer K, Lazarus MG, Sun LP, Leng HB, Lindan C; International Conference on AIDS (15th : 2004 : Bangkok, Thailand).

Int Conf AIDS. 2004 Jul 11-16;15:abstract no. TuPeD5255.

University of California San Francisco, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, San Francisco, United States

Background: Approximately 40% of sex workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia are Vietnamese. Although HIV prevalence among Vietnamese sex workers (VN-SWs) in Cambodia is not known, it is estimated that 29% of brothel-based sex workers in Cambodia are HIV infected. Thus, VN-SWs may be at high risk for HIV infection. In 2002, we evaluated VN-SWs in Cambodia to understand reasons for migration, risk behaviors, and need for health services. Methods: Using rapid assessment methodology we collected information on demographics, migration, risk behaviors, history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and access to health services among VN-SWs in Svay Pak (Phnom Penh) and Sihanoukville. We conducted key informant interviews (n=16), focus group discussions (n=32), and questionnaires (n=100). Results: VN-SWs reported the main reason for migrating to Cambodia was to earn money for their families (70%). Most women originated from poor families in the Mekong Delta, to whom they sent their yearly earnings. The initial entry point for sex work was Sway Pak, where 41% VN-SWs were reportedly accompanied by their families. Within 2-3 years in Svay Pak, women commonly migrated to Sihanoukville brothels. Although the mean reported age of VN-SWs was 22 years, most were likely younger. Ninety-five percent reported seeking STI services and HIV/AIDS education in Cambodia, but only 10% understood the local language of Khmer used in education messages and spoken by STI clinic staff. Although 94% reported always using condoms with sexual clients, 41% had current STI symptoms. Further, while 45% had tested for HIV, only 40% had received their results. VN-SWs in Sway Pak were significantly more likely to have a higher mean number of partners in the past week (12 vs. 6, p<0.01), a history of STIs (80% vs. 62%, p=0.05), and report methamphetamine use (10% vs. 0%, p=0.03) compared to VN-SWs in Sihanoukville. Conclusions: VN-SWs in Cambodia urgently need HIV/STI interventions that are provided in Vietnames and sensitive to risk-behaviors within their migration networks.

Publication Types:

  • Meeting Abstracts

Keywords:

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care Facilities
  • Cambodia
  • Condoms
  • Condoms, Female
  • Female
  • HIV Infections
  • HIV Seropositivity
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prostitution
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sex Workers
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Young Adult
  • transmission

Other ID:

  • GWAIDS0038844

General Notes:

  • Meeting held in: Thailand

NLM Unique ID: 9870004
UI: 102283060
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