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Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Violence against women in sex work and HIV risk implications differ qualitatively by perpetrator

TitleViolence against women in sex work and HIV risk implications differ qualitatively by perpetrator
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDecker, MR, Pearson, E, Illangasekare, SL, Clark, E, Sherman, SG
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume13
Pagination876
Date PublishedSep 23
ISBN Number1471-2458 (Electronic)1471-2458 (Linking)
Accession Number24060235
KeywordsSexual and Reproductive Health
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Physical and sexual violence heighten STI/HIV risk for women in sex work. Against this backdrop, we describe the nature of abuse against women in sex work, and its STI/HIV implications, across perpetrators. METHODS: Adult women involved in sex work (n = 35) in Baltimore, MD participated in an in-depth interview and brief survey. RESULTS: Physical and sexual violence were prevalent, with 43% reporting past-month abuse. Clients were the primary perpetrators; their violence was severe, compromised women's condom and sexual negotiation, and included forced and coerced anal intercourse. Sex work was a factor in intimate partner violence. Police abuse was largely an exploitation of power imbalances for coerced sex. CONCLUSIONS: Findings affirm the need to address physical and sexual violence, particularly that perpetrated by clients, as a social determinant of health for women in sex work, as well as a threat to safety and wellbeing, and a contextual barrier to HIV risk reduction.

PMCID

3852292