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1.  A Qualitative Exploration of Barriers to Condom Use among Female Sex Workers in China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e46786.
Background
Sex workers in China continue to engage in unprotected sex acts that put them at risk for contracting HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and other STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections). The purpose of this study was to explore women’s work history, the context of sex work, condom use, HIV testing services, and potential barriers to condom use in a sample of FSWs (female sex workers) in Guangzhou, China.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews were conducted with 24 FSWs in Guangzhou, China. Informants were recruited using a purposive sampling technique. Qualitative data were coded and analyzed using NVivo 8.0. The majority of respondents were internal economic migrants who had entered the sex industry in pursuit of greater financial reward. Most women in the study were married or had steady boyfriends, and were young, with secondary education and limited knowledge about HIV and STIs. Most were not satisfied with their current living conditions and expressed a desire to leave the sex industry. Women reported that they were more likely to use condoms during sex acts with commercial partners than with non-commercial partners. The potential stigma of being seen as a sex worker prevented many from accessing HIV testing. Three key factors put these FSWs at risk for HIV and STIs: unreasonable trust toward clients, stereotypes and assumptions about customers, and financial incentives.
Conclusions/Significance
These findings suggest that social and economic factors play an important role in shaping sexual decision-making among female sex workers in Guangzhou. We argue that greater insight into and attention to these factors could enhance the success of HIV prevention efforts.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046786
PMCID: PMC3466319  PMID: 23056452
2.  A Syndemic of Psychosocial Problems Places the MSM (Men Who Have Sex with Men) Population at Greater Risk of HIV Infection 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e32312.
Background
The MSM (Men who have sex with men) population suffers from very high rates of concurrent psychosocial problems. Together, these problems comprise a syndemic that increases the risk of HIV infection for this community. The precise mechanisms through which this syndemic can raise the likelihood of HIV infection warrant further exploration.
Methodology/Principal Findings
A total of 522 MSM were enrolled via a multiframe sampling approach and were asked to report psychosocial problems, risky sexual behaviors and HIV test results. A count of psychosocial health problems was calculated to test the additive relationship of these factors on HIV risk. Adjusting analysis and restriction analysis were used to determine a proposed intermediate pathway. Psychosocial health problems are highly concurrent and intercorrelated among urban MSM. Greater numbers of health problems are significantly and positively associated with HIV infection, which is mediated, at least partially, by risky sexual behaviors.
Conclusions/Significance
MSM experience concurrent psychosocial health problems that correlate with HIV infection in this community. We recommend the development of coping strategies for this population to deal with these psychosocial problems, both in prevention research and health policy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032312
PMCID: PMC3316524  PMID: 22479319

Results 1-2 (2)