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Current Opinion in Psychiatry:
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32833864d5
Addictive disorders: Edited by John B. Saunders and Linda B. Cottler

Sexual and drug use behaviors associated with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers in the Mexico-US border region.

Ulibarri, Monica Da; Strathdee, Steffanie Aa; Patterson, Thomas Lb

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Abstract

Purpose of review: The purpose of this review is to summarize the latest research regarding HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) risk among female sex workers (FSWs) along the Mexico–US border. Although Mexico has a low prevalence of HIV overall, HIV prevalence among FSWs in Tijuana is quite high, and even higher among FSWs who inject drugs (FSW-IDUs). Efforts to better understand and curtail the HIV epidemic among FSWs in this region are greatly needed.

Recent findings: A brief HIV/STI risk reduction intervention for FSWs was successful in decreasing HIV/STI sexual risk behavior with clients among FSWs in Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. However, the intervention was less effective among FSW-IDUs, and had no effect on FSWs' condom use with their noncommercial partners. Whereas the majority of research thus far has focused on FSWs' individual-level risk factors, comparatively less is known about their clients and noncommercial sexual partners who may heavily influence their behavior, and engage in high-risk behaviors themselves.

Summary: Further studies including FSWs' intimate partners and clients are needed as well as interventions specific to FSW-IDUs. Targeting the most at-risk populations and reducing both sexual and injection-risk behaviors simultaneously may curb the growing HIV epidemic in the Mexico–US border region.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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