||Adeyemo Gabriel [ profile ]
Freelance sex workers at greater risk: study
Jan 30th, 2011 - 13:20:02
Source:* Phnom Penh Post*
AUTHOR: Summer Walker
A new report on sex work in Phnom Penh has found that workers under less
supervision are increasingly at risk for HIV and sexually transmitted
infection, raising concerns over the shifting nature of sex work since the
enactment of the 2008 Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Sexual
The study, published in this month's edition of *Sexually Transmitted
Diseases* and which evaluates new HIV prevention challenges, finds the risk
for both HIV and STI is higher for women working as freelancers or in
multiple venues, as well as for women who use amphetamine-type substances on
the job. "Women who worked as freelance sex workers had higher odds of HIV
infection compared with entertainment-based sex workers, and those who
reported having a boss or manager had lower odds of HIV than those who did
not," the report states.
Researchers conducted a 12-month study of 160 sex workers, aged between 15
and 29, in Phnom Penh between 2007 and 2008. The risk of STI was highest
among freelance sex workers, women with a longer length of employment as sex
workers, women without a boss or manager, and recent yama, or amphetamine,
use. The researchers express concern about the 2008 human trafficking law
since it changed the typology for sex worker venues by outlawing brothels
and pushing women further towards arenas where researchers found they are
most at risk for HIV and STIs.
Cambodia country manager for Population Services International Chris Jones
said prevention should take account of work venues and drug prevention, but
noted implementation would be difficult.
The shift of sex work from brothels to entertainment establishments has
greatly complicated HIV prevention efforts, which rely on regular,
unfettered access to women at risk of HIV to deliver information, products
and referral to services such as STI and HIV testing and access to family
planning services, he said.
He added that prevention also requires access to male clients who play a key
role in the use of condoms. Scaling up condom availability at or near
non-traditional outlets ... has also proven effective.
Jones said partner organisations have adapted their approaches to reach
women at risk, but the new environment is much more complicated and poses
greater challenges than the model of the past.
Yours' in Prevention Science
Adeyemo Damilare Gabriel
Moderator: Students' for Microbicides (S4M), Nigeria
Regional Focal Point - West Africa
Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AID
+234-80-6798-7317 | gabriel (at) gyca.org
www.gyca.org | www.tigweb.org
GYCA is a youth-led global network of more than 4,500 young leaders and
adult allies working on youth and HIV/AIDS in 150 countries world-wide.
GYCA's mission is to empower young leaders with the skills, knowledge,
resources and opportunities they need to scale up HIV/AIDS interventions
amongst their peers.