229143 Sex trade: Prevalence and associations with health and violence victimization among family planning patients

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 11:30 AM - 11:50 AM

Michele R. Decker, ScD , Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD , Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Heather L. McCauley, MS , Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Daniel J. Tancredi, PhD , Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, UC Davis School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA
Rebecca Levenson, MA , The Family Violence Prevention Fund, San Francisco, CA
Jeffrey Waldman, MD , Shasta Diablo Affiliate, Planned Parenthood, Concord, CA
Phyllis Schoenwald, PA , Shasta Diablo Affiliate, Planned Parenthood, Concord, CA
Jay G. Silverman, PhD , Division of Global Public Health. Adjunct Associate Professor of Society, Human Development Harvard School of Public Health, University of California at San Diego, School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA
Background. Women involved in sex trade are vulnerable to a variety of serious health threats, however research with this population has typically consisted of in-depth investigation focused on infectious disease outcomes. To date, little is known about the extent of sex trade experiences among general and family planning clinic populations, and how the health of family planning clients involved in sex trade compares with those not involved. Objectives. To assess 1) the prevalence of sex trade involvement, and 2) associations of sex trade with health outcomes, violence victimization, and care-seeking among young adult women attending family planning clinics.

Methods. Females patients ages 16-29 years in five family planning clinics in Northern California (n=1277) participated in a cross-sectional survey via an audio computer assisted self interview.

Results. Eight percent of respondents reported a lifetime history of trading sex for money or other resources. Sex trade involvement was associated with STI diagnosis, unintended pregnancy, multiple abortions, low self-rated health, recent intimate partner violence, and rape. Of those involved in sex trade, over 1 in 3 reported that their first such experience was prior to age 18.

Conclusions. Sex trade was relatively common in this clinic population and was associated with multiple indicators of poor health and violence victimization. Findings will be discussed in the context of needed research and programmatic efforts to identify and assist this population in order to improve their overall health and well-being.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the prevalence of sex trade among women receiving family planning services. Describe associations of multiple indicators of poor health and violence victimization with sex trade experiences. Formulate ideas for further research and programmatic efforts to understand and address sex trade and its related health concerns.

Keywords: Sex Workers, Violence

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked and conducted research with this target population.
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.