202134 Human trafficking, violence victimization, barriers to condom use, and condom practices among female sex workers in Managua, Nicaragua

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:10 PM

Michele R. Decker, ScD , Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Katelyn Perna Mack, BS, SM Candidate , Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jeffrey J. Barrows, DO, MA , Gracehaven & Christian Medical Association, Dublin, OH
Jay G. Silverman, PhD , Department of Society, Human Development & Health, Harvard University, Boston, MA
Background: The trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation is increasingly considered to pose risk for violence victimization, as well as limited capacity to negotiate condom-protected sex. Little empirical data are available within Central America to describe the extent of trafficking, violence victimization, and related barriers to condom use among female sex workers (FSWs) in this region.

Objectives: This study aimed to better understand the problem of trafficking among sex workers in Managua, Nicaragua, and its relationship with experiences of physical or sexual violence and barriers to condom use.

Methods: FSWs who sought care at a community health clinic in Managua, Nicaragua (N=95) in 2008 anonymously completed a one-time survey of self-reported mechanisms of entry into sex work, recent violence victimization, barriers to condom use, and condom use patterns. Consistent with United Nations guidelines, trafficking was defined as having been coerced, forced, or involuntarily entering sex work, or entry to commercial sex before age 18.

Results: Preliminary results will be presented on prevalence of, and overlap amongst, trafficking, violence victimization, barriers to condom use, and condom practices.

Discussion: Findings from this first examination of issues related to trafficking, violence, and barriers to condom use among FSWs in Nicaragua will contribute to our understanding of the extent of trafficking and related health threats among FSWs in the region. Results will guide primary prevention efforts as well as programs designed to meet the health and social needs of this vulnerable population.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the prevalence of trafficking, violence, and condom use among a community-based sample of female sex workers in Managua, Nicaragua; and 2. Assess the major reasons for condom non-use among female sex workers.

Keywords: Sex Workers, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have presented at the APHA Annual Meetings in the past with great success. I am currently completing my graduate degree in public health, with a particular focus on the social determinants of health and the health consequences of gender-based violence. Both of these issues are integral components of this abstract and is a field in which I am developing expertise. I have several peer-reviewed publications in this area, as well.
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.