178348 HIV-related risk behaviors among Asian female sex workers in San Francisco

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tooru Nemoto, PhD , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Mariko Iwamoto, MA , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
Yoon-jung Kim, MA , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Ha Chu, BA , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Yon-Hee Kim, BA , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Alefiyah Z. Pishori, BA , Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Background: Asian massage parlors where customers pay for sexual services can be found in large cities in the U.S. Asian masseuses with limited English skills engage in unprotected sex with customers in a harsh work environment. This study aims to describe HIV risk behaviors among masseuses based on the baseline data of a health promotion intervention study.

Methods: Twenty-three massage parlors were identified in downtown, San Francisco. A total of 105 masseuses (46 Vietnamese, 34 Koreans, 25 other Asian ethnicities) were interviewed using a baseline questionnaire.

Results: Vietnamese were older (M=38 years), less educated, and earned less than Koreans (M=33 years) and other Asians (M=34 years). In the past six months, inconsistent condom use with customers was at 11% for vaginal sex and 20% for oral sex. Inconsistent condom use for vaginal sex was associated with being older and having a higher depression score. Korean masseuses were more likely to have sex with customers under the influence of alcohol and be forced by customers to have sex with than other groups. Vietnamese masseuses were less likely to be acculturated and receive social support, and more likely to be depressed compared with other groups.

Conclusions: Ethnic differences in HIV risk behaviors among Asian masseuses could be attributed to social and cultural contexts in which masseuses engage in sex work. Despite of a huge public health impact, Asian masseuses have been neglected. Culturally appropriate intervention programs for Asian masseuses are needed to address HIV/STIs, substance abuse, and mental health problems.

Learning Objectives:
1.Understand Asian masseusesí HIV risk behaviors in relation to their ethnic background. 2.Recognize social and cultural risk factors for HIV/AIDS among Asian masseuses. 3.Learn how to apply the HIV intervention for hard-to-reach population.

Keywords: Asian and Pacific Islander Women, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I don't have any conflicts of interest and commercial support.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.

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