Online Program

Explaining clustering of sexually oriented massage parlors in Los Angeles and New York: Toward an intervention for immigrant female sex workers

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

John J. Chin, MS, PhD, Department of Urban Affairs and Planning, Hunter College, City University of New York, New York, NY
Lois M. Takahashi, PhD, Department of Urban Planning, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Douglas J. Wiebe, PhD, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Sex work has increasingly moved from the streets into indoor venues, such as massage parlors, because of heightened enforcement of anti-prostitution ordinances and because of the internet. These indoor venues predominantly employ immigrant female sex workers, especially Asians. This paper examines spatial clustering of sexually oriented massage parlors in Los Angeles County and New York City as a basis for developing "upstream" interventions, which may include legal interventions, to help prevent HIV and other STIs among immigrant female massage parlor workers and their clients.

Method: Using geocoded data from an NIH-funded study of Asian immigrant sexually oriented massage parlor businesses in Los Angeles County and New York City, we conducted spatial regression analysis of massage parlor location to identify (1) spatial clustering and (2) demographic and economic factors associated with clustering. We examined the differences in clustering between LA County and NYC.

Conclusions: The results show that sexually oriented massage parlors cluster in particular Census tracts. Clustering was positively associated with Census tracts with more employees and with higher proportions of adult males, Asian residents, unemployed persons, and households below the poverty line. Clustering was negatively associated with Census tracts with higher average family size and proportion of women. Furthermore, clustering patterns for LA County and NYC were significantly different. Implications for developing spatially informed upstream health interventions will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the spatial patterns of sexually oriented massage parlor clustering in Los Angeles County and New York City. Identify characteristics of Census tracts associated with clustering. Discuss potential "upstream" interventions that may help prevent HIV and other STIs among immigrant female massage parlor workers and their clients.

Keyword(s): Sex Workers, Immigrant Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working in and conducting research about communities of color and immigrant communities for more than 20 years. I have been the principal investigator of multiple federally funded grants focusing on health promotion and disease prevention in Asian immigrant communities.
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.