UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Client demands for unsafe sex : the socio-economic risk environment for HIV among street and off-street sex workers Deering, Kathleen N.; Lyons, Tara; Feng, Cindy X.; Nosyk, Bohdan; Strathdee, Steffanie A.; Montaner, Julio; Shannon, Kate


Objective Among sex workers (SWs) in Vancouver, Canada, this study identified social, drug use, sex work, environmental-structural and client-related factors associated with being offered and accepting more money after clients' demand for sex without a condom. Design Cross-sectional study using baseline (February/10-October/11) data from a longitudinal cohort of 510 SWs. Methods A two-part multivariable regression model was used to identify factors associated with two separate outcomes: (1) being offered and (2) accepting more money for sex without a condom in the last six months, among those who had been offered more money. Results The sample included 490 SWs. In multivariable analysis, being offered more money for sex without a condom was more likely for SWs who used speedballs, had higher average numbers of clients per week, had difficulty accessing condoms and had clients who visited other SWs. Accepting more money for sex without a condom was more likely for SWs self-reporting as a sexual minority and who had experienced client violence and used crystal methamphetamine use less than daily (vs. none), and less likely for SWs who solicited for clients mainly indoors (vs. outdoor/public places). Conclusions These results highlight the high demand for sex without a condom by clients of SWs. HIV prevention efforts should shift responsibility toward clients to reduce offers of more money for unsafe sex. Programs that mitigate the social and economic risk environments of SWs alongside the removal of criminal sanctions on sex work to enable condom use within safer indoor work spaces are urgently required.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International