Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Structural vulnerabilities to HIV/STI risk among female exotic dancers in Baltimore, Maryland

TitleStructural vulnerabilities to HIV/STI risk among female exotic dancers in Baltimore, Maryland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsReilly, ML, German, D, Serio-Chapman, C, Sherman, SG
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Keywordsfemale exotic dancers, HIV/STIs, illicit drug use, sex exchange, Sexual and Reproductive Health, vulnerability

Female exotic dancers (FEDs) are an important, yet understudied group of women who may engage in drug- and sex-related HIV/STI risk behaviors through their work. The study objective was to identify co-occurring indicators of vulnerability (e.g., housing, income, incarceration) associated with HIV/STI risk behavior among FEDs in Baltimore, Maryland. Surveys administered during July 2008-February 2009 captured socio-demographic characteristics, drug use, and sexual practices among dancers (N = 101) aged ≥18 years. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between vulnerability and risk behavior. Dancers with a high vulnerability score (i.e., 2 or more indicators) were more likely to report sex exchange (AOR: 10.7, 95% CIs: 2.9, 39.9) and multiple sex partnerships (AOR: 6.4, 95% CIs: 2.3, 18.3), controlling for demographics and drug use, compared to their less vulnerable counterparts. Findings point to primacy of macro-level factors that need to be addressed in HIV/STI prevention efforts targeting this and other high-risk populations. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.