243454 Female sex work within the Latino community in rural North Carolina: An exploratory, community-based participatory study

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:30 PM

Amanda E. Tanner, PhD, MPH , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Charlotte, NC
Stacy Duck, BA , 401B North Ivey Ave, Chatham Social Health Council, Siler City, NC
Robert Aronson, DrPH , Department of Public Health Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Aimee Wilkin, MD, MPH , Department of Internal Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Jorge Alonzo, JD , Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Rebecca Ruth Cashman, MPH , Center for Health Equity Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA
Aaron T. Vissman, MPH , Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Karen Kroeger, PhD , Division of STD Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Michelle Naughton, PhD , Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Background: This study explored female sex work with the Latino community in North Carolina, United States (US) as the use of sex workers and associated risks for HIV and STDs within this burgeoning community has not been systematically documented.

Methods: A community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership conducted individual in-depth interviews with: Latina women (ages 25-48) who sold sex for money to men of any ethnicity/race (n=4); women of any ethnicity/race (ages 27-49) who sold sex for money to Latino men (n=4); and Latino men (ages 25-49) who hired sex workers with money (n=4), within the past six months. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and maintained in Spanish and English. Open coding explored and organized data into broad domains interpreted by the partnership.

Results: Themes emerged related to: the structure of sex work (e.g., referral sources, use of controllers/pimps); motivations to sell sex (e.g., limited economic options); motivations to hire sex workers (e.g., proving one's masculinity, sexual experimentation); and sexual health issues (e.g., limited understanding of sexual health including HIV/STD transmission risk, alcohol use, condom use/non-use).

Conclusion: This study provided preliminary data related to sex work within the immigrant Latino community in the US. It illustrates that within CBPR partnerships it is possible to recruit female sex workers and their clients and collect formative data within a population that tends to be marginalized and hard to reach. These results can inform larger future studies to better understand and promote sexual health among sex workers and clients.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to: 1. Describe the context and structure of sex work in the Latino community in rural North Carolina. 2. Identify factors that entry into sex work for women in rural North Carolina. 3. Convey the importance of integrating resources across partnerships for HIV prevention.

Keywords: Sex Workers, Latino

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have my PhD in Health Behavior and have been conducting HIV-related research for the last 8 years.
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.