156714 Substance use and HIV risk behaviors among Thai female sex workers in Thailand

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Tooru Nemoto, PhD , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Usaneya Perngparn , Institute of Health Research, Chulaongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Chitlada Areesantichai , Institute of Health Research, Chulaongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Mariko Iwamoto, MA , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Alefiyah Z. Pishori, BA , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: Despite attempts to reduce the HIV incidences among female sex workers (FSWs) in Thailand, high HIV risk behaviors among FSWs were recently reported. Methods: Structured survey interviews asking about substance use, sexual behaviors, and psychosocial factors were conducted with 205 FSWs in Bangkok. Results: The study participants were young (M = 28 years old), and worked 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. They earned relatively high incomes ($702-$1,170 per month). Although 95% of participants had received HIV information and/or prevention supplies in the past 12 months, they had low scores on the HIV knowledge questions (73% answered correctly 5 or fewer of the 10 questions) and 86% reported that they might not use a condom to earn more money. In the previous 12 months, 91% of participants had been infected with Chlamydia and 83% with Vaginal Candidiasis. Among those who had ever been pregnant, 54% had had at least one abortion (range: 1-5). Substance use in the past 12 months was common: 94% had used alcohol, 32% had used marijuana, and 11% had used Ecstasy. In the past six months, the majority of participants (86%) had engaged in sex with customers under the influence of substances, such as alcohol (98%) and marijuana (20%). Conclusion: High HIV risk behaviors were found in our sample of Thai FSWs in Bangkok. Further studies are needed to investigate social and cultural factors which influence their HIV risk behaviors and to develop culturally appropriate intervention programs for Thai FSWs.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand the HIV/AIDS related risk behaviors among Thai Female Sex Workers in Bangkok 2. Recognize that Thai FSWs in Bangkok are engaging HIV related risk behaviors despite they received HIV preventive information and supplies in past 3. Apply the implications of these findings to design effective HIV prevention programs targeting Thai Female Sex Workers in Thailand

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.