199332 Female sex workers and their sexual health: What's happening behind the closed door?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marium ul Mutahara, MSS, MPS , Population Council, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Azaher Ali Molla, MD, MPHM, MSc , Programme Support Office, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare , Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Although Bangladesh is a low prevalence country for HIV/AIDS, all the factors that may allow rapid spread of infection leading to an epidemic are present here. These factors include high-risk behavior, lack of awareness, very mobile populations and being surrounded by countries that have a higher prevalence of HIV. Biological markers serving as surrogates of risk behavior such as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for sexual risk and hepatitis C for transmission through blood are very high in some of the key vulnerable groups including sex workers. STIs are low in the general population but are higher in the bridging population groups, such as truckers, and highest in sex workers. Impacts of risky sexual behavior of female sex workers on sexual health of the general population have profound implications for the spread of HIV. A study was conducted in urban areas to understand the vulnerable situation of female sex workers and reasons for high risks behavior. This paper examines the underlying factors which determine the risky sexual behavior among female sex workers and their clients. Findings suggest that anal sex and group sex practice is very common and most of the cases clients do not use condom during sexual acts. The prevalence of STI also high among them and they are not aware of their physical conditions. Social discrimination and stigma work as a barrier for the female sex workers to seek appropriate information and services from the qualified service providers and increasing the risk of HIV infection.

Learning Objectives:
Describe risky sexual behavior of female sex workers in Bangladesh Identify barriers faced by commercial female sex workers to seek proper RH services Analyze Risk of HIV infection among sex workers and their clients

Keywords: Sexual Risk Behavior, Sex Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i was involved with the research study
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.

See more of: Women and HIV: Emerging Issues
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