Young women engaged in sex work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, have high incidence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, and amphetamine-type stimulant use: new challenges to HIV prevention and risk.
Additional Document Info
To estimate prevalence and incidence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) and associated risk factors among young women working as sex workers (SWs) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.A prospective study of young (<29 years) women working as SWs in brothels, entertainment establishments, and freelance. Sociodemographics, sexual risk, and use of amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) ("yama" and "crystal") were assessed by self-report. HIV and STI (Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae) testing were conducted on blood and urine specimens, respectively.Baseline prevalences of HIV, C. trachomatis, and N. gonorrhoeae were 23%, 11.5%, and 7.8%, respectively. HIV incidence was 3.6 per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2%-11.1%); STI incidence was 21.2 per 100 person-years (95% CI, 12.6%-35.8%). At baseline, 26.5% reported recent ATS use. HIV infection was associated with freelance SW (adjusted odds ratio, 5.85; 95% CI, 1.59-21.58) and younger age of first sex (≤15 years; adjusted odds ratio, 3.06; 95% CI, 1.01-8.46). Incident STI was associated with duration (per year) of SW (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.1; 95% CI, 1.1-1.2) and recent yama use (adjusted hazard ratio, 3.9; 95% CI, 1.5-10.3).HIV and STI infection rates were high among SWs working in various settings; freelancers had highest risk. ATS use was associated with incident STI. Venue of sex work and drug prevention should be considered in prevention programs.