HIV testing is critical to the delivery of comprehensive HIV prevention and care services, yet coverage of sexual minorities by HIV testing programmes remains insufficient in many low- and middle-income countries, including Mexico. The objective of this study was to identify the prevalence and correlates of HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Tijuana, Mexico.
We conducted a cross-sectional study (2012–2013) among 189 MSM recruited via respondent-driven sampling (RDS). RDS-weighted logistic regression was used to identify correlates of prior HIV testing.
RDS-adjusted prevalence of prior and recent (≤12 months) HIV testing was 63.5% (95% CI 51.9% to 73.5%) and 36.8% (95% CI 25.4% to 46.4%), respectively. Prior HIV testing was positively associated with older age (adjusted OR (AOR)=1.09, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.15), being born in Tijuana (AOR=2.68, 95% CI 1.05 to 6.86), higher levels of education (AOR=2.65, 95% CI 1.08 to 6.53), identifying as homosexual or gay (AOR=3.73, 95% CI 1.48 to 9.42), being more ‘out’ about having sex with men (AOR=1.28, 95% CI:1.02 to 1.62), and a history of sexual abuse (AOR=3.24, 95% CI 1.06 to 9.86). Prior HIV testing was negatively associated with reporting more condomless anal intercourse acts (past 2 months) (AOR=0.95, 95% CI 0.92 to 0.98) and greater internalised homophobia (AOR=0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.99).
Our findings indicate an urgent need for expanded HIV testing services for MSM in Tijuana. Innovative, non-stigmatising, confidential HIV testing interventions targeted at young, less educated, migrant and non-gay identifying MSM may facilitate HIV testing and timely linkage to HIV care and treatment within this population.
HIV testing; men who have sex with men; Mexico-US border; respondent-driven sampling
HIV prevention efforts must be comprehensive in their understanding of the factors involved in HIV risk. Male clients, who have received less research attention than female sex workers (FSWs), may experience stigma as a function of purchasing sex. Perceived stigma may be related to poor psychological outcomes, risky psychosexual characteristics, and higher drug and sexual risk behavior among male clients of FSWs. However, perceived stigma of purchasing sex may differ between clients of different ethnic groups. In the present study, we examine the correlates of perceived stigma of purchasing sex among Latino vs. non-Latino male clients of FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico. Using time-location sampling, we recruited 375 male clients (323 Latino, 52 non-Latino) in Tijuana who completed a computerized survey on various measures. We measured perceived stigma of purchasing sex using three items we developed for this study. Using linear regression analyses we found that perceived stigma was associated with greater guilt, a greater feeling of escape from everyday life, and more negative condom attitudes among Latino clients. This was not found among non-Latino clients. Features of Latino culture, like machismo, and how they may relate to stigma of purchasing sex are discussed.
Globally, client-perpetrated violence against female sex workers (FSWs) has been associated with multiple health-related harms, including high-risk sexual behavior and increased exposure to HIV/STIs. This study examined correlates of client-perpetrated sexual, physical, and economic violence (e.g., robbery) against FSWs in 13 cities throughout Mexico.
FSWs (N = 1,089) who were enrolled in a brief, evidence-based, sexual risk reduction intervention for FSWs (Mujer Segura) were interviewed about their work context, including experiences of violence perpetrated by clients, sexual risk and substance use practices, financial need, and social supports. Three broad categories of factors (sociodemographic, work context, behavioral and social characteristics of FSWs) were examined as correlates of sexual, physical, and economic violence.
The prevalence of different types of client-perpetrated violence against FSWs in the past 6 months was: sexual (11.7%), physical (11.8%), economic (16.9%), and any violence (22.6%). Greater financial need, self-identification as a street worker, and lower perceived emotional support were independently associated with all three types of violence. Alcohol use before or during sex with clients in the past month was associated with physical and sexual violence. Using drugs before or during sex with clients, injection drug use in the past month, and population size of city were associated with sexual violence only, and FSWs’ alcohol use score (AUDIT-C) was associated with economic violence only.
Correlates of client-perpetrated violence encompassed sociodemographic, work context, and behavioral and social factors, suggesting that approaches to violence prevention for FSWs must be multi-dimensional. Prevention could involve teaching FSWs strategies for risk avoidance in the workplace (e.g., avoiding use of alcohol with clients), enhancement of FSWs’ community-based supports, development of interventions that deliver an anti-violence curriculum to clients, and programs to address FSWs’ financial need by increasing their economic opportunities outside of the sex trade.
To examine efficacy of a brief behavioral intervention to promote condom use among female sex workers (FSWs) in two Mexico-U.S. border cities.
924 FSWs aged ≥18 years without known HIV infection living in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez having recent unprotected sex with clients were randomized to a 30 minute behavioral intervention integrating motivational interviewing and principles of behavior change, or a didactic control condition. At baseline and six months, women underwent interviews and testing for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Comparing intervention versus control groups, we observed a 40% decline in cumulative STI incidence (p=0.049). Incidence density for the intervention vs. control was 13.8 vs 24.92 per 100 person years (py) for STIs combined (p=0.034), and 0 vs. 2.01 per 100 py for HIV (p<0.001), with concomitant increases in total numbers and percentages of protected sex acts and decreases in total numbers of unprotected sex acts with clients (p<0.05).
This brief behavioral intervention shows promise in reducing HIV/STI risk behaviors among FSWs in two Mexican-U.S border cities, and may be transferable to other resource-constrained settings.
sex work; prostitute; HIV; sexually transmitted infections; condoms; Mexico
Male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) in Tijuana, Mexico engage in high levels of unprotected sex. While behavioral change theories posit that self-efficacy predicts condom use, correlates of self-efficacy for condom use remain largely unstudied. We examined these correlates among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana. Eligible male clients were at least 18 years of age, HIV-negative, lived in Tijuana or San Diego, reported unprotected sex with a Tijuana FSW at least once in the past four months, and agreed to be treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Participants completed an interviewer-administered questionnaire including demographics, substance use, psychosocial and psychosexual characteristics (e.g., outcome expectancies for negotiation of safer sex, social support, and sexual sensation seeking), and sexual behaviors. Participants also underwent HIV/STI testing. A stepwise hierarchical multiple regression analysis identified correlates of self-efficacy for condom use. Of 393 male clients, median age was 37 years. Participants were mostly Spanish-speaking and employed. Factors independently associated with higher self-efficacy for condom use were higher positive outcome expectancies for negotiation of safer sex, lower sexual sensation seeking scores, and higher social support scores. Both psychosocial and psychosexual factors may influence self-efficacy for condom use among male clients of FSWs. These factors represent central constructs in sociocognitive models that explain behavioral change and could be intervention targets for improving self-efficacy for condom use and, ultimately, safer sex behavior.
Condom use; self-efficacy; HIV prevention; sex workers; prostitution
Tijuana is situated on Mexico’s northern border with the U.S., where sex work is quasi-legal. Whereas previous work has focused on the risk behaviors of female sex workers (FSWs), less is known about the risk behaviors of their male clients. Further, research has not examined structural factors as moderators of the association between substance use and condom use, including the contexts in which sex takes place. The purpose of the current study is to examine whether having sex with FSWs in a bar moderates the link between alcohol intoxication during sex and condom use. We recruited 375 male clients of FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico from San Diego, California and Tijuana. Using computer assisted interviewing, we surveyed participants on their alcohol use, condom use, and physical contexts of sex with FSWs in the past four months. Results showed that more frequent intoxication during sex with FSWs is associated with more unprotected sex, but only among clients having sex with FSWs in a bar context. Results point to potential reasons for inconsistent condom use with FSWs in this context, including lower risk perceptions of sex with FSWs in bars. Future research should examine structural factors that underlie clients’ risk behavior in bars in order to inform structural-level HIV prevention interventions.
HIV risk; male clients; female sex workers; alcohol use; risk environment; structural interventions
Female drug dealers have been a neglected population despite their potentially elevated risk for social, legal, family, and psychological health problems. This study examined correlates of drug-dealing behavior in a sample of 209 female methamphetamine users in San Diego, CA. Twenty-five percent of the sample reported dealing methamphetamine in the past 2 months. Women who dealt methamphetamine were significantly more likely than their nondealing counterparts to have started using illicit drugs before the age of 13 years (68 % versus 44.7 %, p = .003); to have been introduced to methamphetamine by a parent (15.1 % versus 5.8 %, p = .037); and to report currently using methamphetamine to stay awake (84.9 % versus 64.7 %, p = .004), enhance self-confidence (62.3 % versus 45.5 %, p = .025), and feel more attractive (54.7 % versus 38.5 %, p = .029). In a multivariate logistic regression, factors independently associated with methamphetamine dealing were: having a spouse or live-in partner (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR = 2.89), using methamphetamine with a broader range of types of person (AOR = 1.46), and reporting lower levels of emotional support (AOR = 0.57). These findings suggest that female methamphetamine dealers are in urgent need of access to substance use treatment, therapies to enhance self-worth and emotional support, and family-based substance use prevention interventions for dependent children and those at risk.
Methamphetamine; Dealers; Women; Emotional support; Self-concept
Male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are at risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). We conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of a sexual risk reduction intervention for male clients of FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico.
Male clients of FSWs who were at least 18, were HIV-negative at baseline, and reported recent unprotected sex with FSWs were randomized to the Hombre Seguro sexual risk reduction intervention, or a time-attention didactic control condition. Each condition lasted approximately one hour. Participants underwent interviewer-administered surveys and testing for HIV and other STIs at baseline, and at 4, 8, and 12 month follow-ups. Combined HIV/STI incidence and unprotected vaginal and anal sex acts with FSWs were the primary outcomes.
A total of 400 participants were randomized to one of the two conditions. Analyses indicated that randomization was successful; there were no significant differences between the participants in the two conditions at baseline. Average follow-up was 84% across both conditions. This is the first study to test the efficacy of a sexual risk reduction intervention for male clients of FSWs using the rigor of a randomized controlled trial.
NCT01280838, Date of registration: January 19, 2011.
Nagpur is an industrial hub in Maharashtra, a state in Central India that has the second highest HIV prevalence in the country. Approximately 3000 brothel-based female sex workers (FSWs) are estimated to be working in Nagpur’s Ganga-Jamuna red light district. The extent to which brothel madams, known as gharwalis, support HIV/STI prevention for FSWs has not been examined. The present study sought to identify personal, social, and behavioral characteristics of gharwalis in Nagpur as well as enhance our understanding of the gharwali’s role in shaping the sexual practices of brothel-based FSWs. Thirty gharwalis participated in a survey that covered personal, social, behavioral, and environmental characteristics. Respondents ranged in age from 29 to 50 years (M = 38.9) and had worked as a gharwali for an average of 5.3 years; 80% had no formal education, 43% had never married and 30% were divorced or separated, and 93% earned money from their own sex work. Gharwalis managed an average of 4.2 FSWs (range 2 to 10). Overall, gharwalis reported positive attitudes toward condoms, promoted use of condoms by their FSWs with clients, taught FSWs how to use condoms, knew where to obtain condoms for free, and required HIV testing for their FSWs; however, levels of HIV prevention knowledge were low. Gharwalis also reported providing a range of support services to FSWs who lived in their brothels, including shelter, protection from drunk and aggressive clients and police, emotional support, caring and love, and health care. These data suggest the feasibility of involving gharwalis in brothel-based HIV prevention programs.
While methamphetamine users report high rates of internalized or self-stigma, few studies have examined experiences of stigma (i.e., stigmatization by others) and its correlates.
This study identified correlates of stigma experiences in a sample of 438 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) who were enrolled in a sexual risk reduction intervention in San Diego, CA.
Approximately 96% of the sample reported experiences of stigma related to their use of methamphetamine. In multiple regression analysis, experiences of stigma were associated with binge use of methamphetamine, injection drug use, increased anger symptoms, reduced emotional support, and lifetime treatment for methamphetamine use.
These findings suggest that experiences of stigma are common among methamphetamine users and that interventions to address this type of stigma and its correlates may offer social, psychological, and health benefits to HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM.
Stigma experiences; Methamphetamine; Men who have sex with men; HIV
To gain insights into bridging behaviors and their correlates among male clients of female sex workers (FSWs).
Men aged ≥18 years who recently paid or traded for sex with FSWs were recruited in Tijuana in 2008–2009. Participants underwent interviews and testing for HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea. Logistic regression compared “bridgers” (clients who had unprotected sex with FSWs and with a wife or steady partner) with men who did not.
Of 383 men, 134 (35%) had a steady partner. Half (n = 70) of those had unprotected sex with both FSWs and the steady partner. Prevalence of any STI or HIV was 16.5% among bridgers and 2.3% among non-bridgers. Compared to other clients, bridgers were more likely to use drugs during sex with FSWs (81.4% versus 46.9%, p < 0.0001), had higher sensation-seeking (p < 0.0001) and misogyny scores (p = 0.05), and were more likely to offer FSWs extra money for unprotected sex (34.4% versus 1.6%, p < 0.0001). Factors independently associated with bridging were: using drugs during sex with FSWs (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 3.4, p = 0.007), sensation-seeking (AOR: 4.3 per unit increase, p = 0.05), and offering FSWs more money for unprotected sex (AOR: 24.5, p = 0.003).
Sensation-seeking clients who use drugs during sex and coerce FSWs into unprotected sex may be less responsive to standard risk reduction interventions. Interventions are needed that target clients rather than rely on FSWs to change behaviors that may not be under their control.
male clients; bridging behavior; female sex workers; HIV transmission; prevention; Mexico
Retrospective reports of children’s relationships with their parents have been associated with increased risk for depressive symptoms in adulthood. This study examined four dimensions of the current mother-child relationship (affection, criticism, over-involvement, conflict) in relation to depressive symptoms in a sample of 270 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). Depressive symptoms were positively associated with overt conflict or disagreement with mothers and perceived over-involvement by mothers, and inversely related to frequency of contact with mothers. These findings suggest that clinicians who treat HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM with depressive symptoms should evaluate issues in the mother-son relationship and consider family-based therapies as an adjunct to treatment.
depressive symptoms; methamphetamine; men who have sex with men; HIV; maternal relationship
While many studies have examined correlates of trading sex for money, few have examined factors associated with exclusive trading of sex for drugs. We identified sociodemographic, behavioral, and psychological correlates of trading sex for methamphetamine in a sample of HIV-negative heterosexual men and women who were enrolled in a sexual risk reduction intervention in San Diego, California. Of 342 participants, 26% overall (21% of males and 31% of females) reported trading sex for methamphetamine in the past two months. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that recently trading sex for methamphetamine was independently associated with being female, homeless, binging on methamphetamine, sexual victimization in the past two months, engaging in anal sex 24 or more times in the past two months, and higher sexual compulsivity scores. Effective interventions for this high-risk population should consider gender-focused counseling for sexual abuse, motivational enhancement therapy, social-cognitive skills training, as well as enhanced access and utilization of social services, including drug treatment.
sex trading; methamphetamine; heterosexual; sexual risk behavior
Although rates of methamphetamine use continue to increase throughout the United States, little is known about the individuals who sell methamphetamine at the street level. This exploratory study examined the prevalence and correlates of drug-dealing behavior in a sample of 404 heterosexually-identified methamphetamine users who were participants in a sexual risk reduction intervention in San Diego, CA. Twenty-nine percent of participants (N = 116) reported “dealing” methamphetamine in the past two months. In a multivariate logistic regression, methamphetamine dealing was associated with being male (OR = 1.99; 95% CI 1.16 – 3.39), younger age (OR = 1.87 per year; 95% CI 1.10 – 3.17), more frequent use of methamphetamine (OR = 2.69; 95% CI 1.59 – 4.57), injecting methamphetamine (OR = 3.10; 95% CI 1.79 – 5.37), and higher hostility scores (OR = 1.07 per unit increase; 95% CI 1.01 – 1.13). These characteristics, particularly intensity of drug use and hostility, may be associated with greater resistance to drug treatment and lower success in treatment programs.
Studies of implementation of efficacious human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevention interventions are rare, especially in resource-poor settings, but important, because they have the potential to increase the impact of interventions by improving uptake and sustainability. Few studies have focused on provider and organizational factors that may influence uptake and fidelity to core intervention components. Using a hybrid design, we will study the implementation of an efficacious intervention to reduce sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers (FSWs) in 12 cities across Mexico. Our protocol will test a ‘train-the-trainer’ implementation model for transporting the Mujer Segura (Healthy Woman) intervention into community-based organizations (CBOs).
We have partnered with Mexican Foundation for Family Planning (Mexfam), a non-governmental organization that has CBOs throughout Mexico. At each CBO, trained ethnographers will survey CBO staff on characteristics of their organization and on their attitudes toward their CBO and toward the implementation of evidence-based interventions (EBIs). Then, after CBO staff recruit a sample of 80 eligible FSWs and deliver a standard-care, didactic intervention to 40 women randomly selected from that pool, a Mexfam staff person will be trained in the Mujer Segura intervention and will then train other counselors to deliver Mujer Segura to the 40 remaining participating FSWs. FSW participants will receive a baseline behavioral assessment and be tested for HIV and STIs (syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia); they will be reassessed at six months post-intervention to measure for possible intervention effects. At the same time, both qualitative and quantitative data will be collected on the implementation process, including measures of counselors’ fidelity to the intervention model. After data collection at each CBO is complete, the relative efficacy of the Mujer Segura intervention will be analyzed, and across CBOs, correlations will be examined between individual and organizational provider characteristics and intervention efficacy.
This cooperative, bi-national research study will provide critical insights into barriers and facilitating factors associated with implementing interventions in CBOs using the ‘train the trainer’ model. Our work builds on similar scale-up strategies that have been effective in the United States. This study has the potential to increase our knowledge of the generalizability of such strategies across health issues, national contexts, and organizational contexts.
Implementation; Dissemination; HIV; Evidence-based intervention; Female sex workers
Drug assertiveness skills have been demonstrated effective in reducing substance use behaviors among patients with alcohol- or heroin-use disorders. This study examined the association between drug assertiveness and methamphetamine use, psychological factors, and sexual risk behaviors in a sample of 250 HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) enrolled in a safer sex intervention in San Diego, CA. Less assertiveness in turning down drugs was associated with greater frequency and larger amounts of methamphetamine use, lower self-esteem, higher scores on a measure of sexual sensation-seeking, and greater attendance at risky sexual venues. These data suggest that drug assertiveness training should be incorporated into drug abuse treatment programs and other risk reduction interventions for methamphetamine users.
drug assertiveness behavior; methamphetamine; sexual risk behavior; men who have sex with men; HIV-positive
Substance use has been identified as a risk factor for elevated levels of obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD). This study examined methamphetamine use and sexual risk behaviors as correlates of OCD in a sample of 245 HIV-positive men having sex with men (MSM) in San Diego, CA. In a logistic regression analysis, OCD was associated with greater frequency of methamphetamine use, more depressive symptoms, seeking out risky venues and risky sexual partners when “high” on methamphetamine, and reporting fewer sex acts in the past 2 months. These data suggest the need for increased awareness and understanding of the role that OCD may play in the drug use behaviors and risky sexual practices of methamphetamine users.
Obsessive–compulsive disorder; Methamphetamine; Sexual risk behavior; Men who have sex with men; HIV
Studies show high rates of psychiatric symptoms among methamphetamine users; however, little information exists regarding methamphetamine use and anxiety. This study investigated psychosocial and behavioral correlates of anxiety symptoms in a sample of 245 HIV-positive men having sex with men (MSM) who were enrolled in a sexual risk reduction intervention. In a multiple regression analysis, anxiety symptoms were associated with homelessness, recent experience of HIV symptoms, injection drug use, lifetime sexual abuse, engaging in risky sexual behaviors, and seeking out partners at risky sexual venues when “high” on methamphetamine. These findings can be used to inform and refine sexual risk reduction interventions and substance use treatment programs for HIV-positive methamphetamine-using MSM.
anxiety symptoms; methamphetamine; men who have sex with men; sexual risk behavior; HIV
Previous research among drug-using men who have sex with men (MSM) indicates that trading sex for methamphetamine may be common.
This study identified background characteristics, substance use variables, contextual factors, and sexual risk behaviors associated with trading sex for methamphetamine in a sample of HIV-positive MSM. Baseline data were gathered from 155 participants who were enrolled in a sexual risk-reduction intervention. Logistic regression was used to compare MSM who traded sex for methamphetamine with men who did not.
Forty-three percent of the sample reported trading sex for methamphetamine in the past 2 months. Trading sex for methamphetamine was associated with being a binge user, homelessness, having an income of less than $20,000 per year, being less assertive at turning down drugs, engaging in more anal sex without a condom, and seeking out risky sex partners when high on methamphetamine.
Conclusions and Scientific Significance
These data suggest that the trading of sex for methamphetamine may be a primary source of new HIV infections within and outside of the MSM community, necessitating targeted interventions with this vulnerable subgroup.
methamphetamine; trading sex; men who have sex with men; sexual risk behavior
Although men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in Mexico, data on current risk behaviors in this population are lacking. This study investigated the prevalence and correlates of unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) in a sample of 260 MSM in Tijuana, Mexico.
In June 2010, men attending a gay pride celebration were invited to complete a sexual risk survey. Men who reported UAI with a male partner in the past year were compared with men who reported only protected anal sex during the same period.
Mean age of participants was 29.7; 54% had a high school diploma or less; and 43% were unemployed. In the past year, 55% had been tested for HIV, 21% reported using illicit drugs before or during sex, and 94% had sex only with men. Overall, 50% reported having UAI with another male in the past year. Factors independently associated with UAI in the past year were unemployment (AOR = 1.87), attending adult movie theaters (AOR = 2.21), using illicit drugs before or during sex (AOR = 2.43), and not having a recent HIV test (AOR = 1.85).
Interventions to promote HIV testing and condom use among men who have sex with men may want to consider venue-specific approaches, as well as focus on drug-use issues in the context of unsafe sex.
Men who have sex with men; HIV risk behaviors; Unprotected anal intercourse; Mexico
In 2008, 400 males ≥ 18 years old who paid or traded for sex with a female sex worker (FSW) in Tijuana, Mexico, in the past 4 months completed surveys and HIV/STI testing; 30 also completed qualitative interviews. To analyze environmental HIV vulnerability among male clients of FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico, we used mixed methods to investigate correlates of clients who met FSWs in nightlife venues and clients’ perspectives on venue-based risks. Logistic regression identified micro-level correlates of meeting FSWs in nightlife venues, which were triangulated with clients’ narratives regarding macro-level influences. In a multivariate model, offering increased pay for unprotected sex and binge drinking were micro-level factors that were independently associated with meeting FSWs in nightlife venues versus other places. In qualitative interviews, clients characterized nightlife venues as high risk due to the following macro-level features: social norms dictating heavy alcohol consumption; economic exploitation by establishment owners; and poor enforcement of sex work regulations in nightlife venues. Structural interventions in nightlife venues are needed to address venue-based risks.
sex work; risk environment; clients; venues; structural factors; HIV
This study examined attitudes about condoms as a moderator of the relationship between methamphetamine use and sexual risk behavior in a sample of 297 HIV-positive, methamphetamine-using men who have sex with men (MSM). To test for a moderating effect of attitudes towards condoms, an interaction term was included in multiple regression analysis along with age, income, negative condom attitudes, frequency of methamphetamine use, and Beck depression score. A post hoc analysis was conducted to determine the relations between methamphetamine use and unprotected sex for persons with more vs. less negative attitudes toward condoms. These analyses indicated that when individuals had more negative attitudes toward condoms, the relation between methamphetamine frequency and unprotected sex was significant, while among participants with less negative attitudes toward condoms, no significant association was found. Addressing methamphetamine-using MSM's attitudes about condoms can serve as a form of harm reduction for those who are not yet ready or willing to discontinue methamphetamine use.
Methamphetamine; Attitudes; Condoms; Sexual risk; Men who have sex with men
Male clients of female sex workers (FSWs) may act as a bridge to the general population contributing to the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in the United States and Mexico. This study used cross-sectional data to identify psychosexual and social cognitive factors associated with sexual risk behavior in a bi-national sample of 300 male clients of FSWs recruited in Tijuana, Mexico from June to October, 2008. In a multiple regression analysis, the number of unprotected vaginal sex acts with FSWs was associated with higher sexual compulsivity scores, lower self-efficacy for condom use, greater use of illicit drugs, and more financial need. Behavioral interventions are urgently needed to assist clients of FSWs in reducing high-risk behaviors in an effort to prevent the spread of HIV/STIs in this high-risk population and their sexual partners.
male clients; female sex workers; sexual risk behavior; U.S.- Mexico border
Sex work is partially regulated in Tijuana, but little is known of its health effects. A recent behavioral intervention among female sex workers (FSWs) decreased incidence of HIV/STIs by 40%. We evaluated effects of sex worker regulation on condom use among FSWs randomized to this intervention.
FSWs aged ≥18 years who reported unprotected sex with ≥1 client in the last 2 months and whether they were registered with Tijuana’s Municipal Health Department underwent a brief, theory-based behavioral intervention to increase condom use. At baseline and 6 months, women underwent interviews and testing for HIV, syphilis, C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae. Negative binomial regression was used to determine the effect of registration on numbers of unprotected sex acts and cumulative HIV/STI incidence.
Of 187 women, 83 (44%) were registered. Lack of registration was associated with higher rates of unprotected sex (rate ratio: 1.7, 95% CI: 1.2–2.3), compared to FSWs who were registered, after controlling for potential confounders.
Registration predicted increased condom use among FSWs enrolled in a behavioral intervention. Public health programs designed to improve condom use among FSWs may benefit from understanding the impact of existing regulation systems on HIV risk behaviors.
commercial sex work; registration; Mexico; injection drug use; sexually transmitted infection; behavioral intervention