197895 Relationship of female sex workers and gatekeepers: Implications for HIV/STD prevention

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chen Zhang , School of Rural Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Health, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Yan Hong, PhD , Department of Social and Behavioral Health, Texas A&M School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Xiaoming Li, PhD , Department of Pediatrics, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Yaofang Zhang , Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, China, Beijing, China
Linyuan Deng , Institute of Developmental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing, China
Yuejiao Zhou , Center for Disease Control and Prevention,Guangxi Autonomous Region, China., Nanning, China
Ran Zhao , Central University of Finance and Economics,Beijing, Beijing, China
Background:A majority of female sex workers (FSWs) work in brothels or entertainment establishments. Literature has documented the gatekeepers (establishment/brothel managers) exert significant influences on FSWs' HIV/STD prevention behaviors. However, data are rather limited regarding the relationship between the FSWs and gatekeepers. Methods:We employed ethnographic targeted sampling to recruit 36 FSWs and 16 gatekeepers from entertainment establishments that provide commercial sex services in Guangxi-China. Trained qualitative researchers conducted in-depth individual interviews with the participants. All interviews were audio-taped and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts and field notes were uploaded to Atlas ti for analysis. All qualitative data were analyzed using thematic content analysis methods. Results:Despite a big variety in their working conditions, establishment-based FSWs share a common characteristics: they work closely with their gatekeepers (or so-called the “mommy” or “boss”). The gatekeepers and FSWs have reciprocal financial relationship. Gatekeepers depend on FSWs to attract customers; FSWs rely on gatekeepers to meet their clients, FSWs also need gatekeepers' protection from abusive clients and law enforcement agencies. Gatekeepers sometimes do show sympathy and concerns for FSWs health and counsel women on personal hygiene and disease protection. Conclusion: Because of the closely-bound reciprocal relationship between the gatekeepers and FSWs, gatekeepers need to be included in HIV/STD prevention programs targeting FSWs. Qualitative research can provide important information on design and implementation of culturally appropriate HIV prevention interventions for FSWs in China.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the session, you’ll be able to: 1. Understand how to conduct qualitative research with female sex workers and their gatekeepers in China. 2. Examine the relationship between female sex workers and their gatekeepers 3. Explore culturally appropriate HIV/STD prevention interventions for female sex workers in China.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This study is carried out during my MPH program in school of rural public health, Texas A&M University
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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