Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Skip Navigation LinksHome > September 2007 - Volume 34 - Issue 9 > Female Sex Workers in China: Vectors of Disease?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000260989.70866.94
Article

Female Sex Workers in China: Vectors of Disease?

Pirkle, Catherine BSc*; Soundardjee, Riswana BScN, RN*; Stella, Artuso BSc†

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Abstract

Objective: To analyze the extent by which Chinese female sex workers (FSWs) serve as vectors of HIV/AIDS to an otherwise spared general population and to describe the implications of centering efforts solely on this high-risk group.

Goal: By using the example of FSWs in China, we intend to demonstrate the role that structural factors can have on HIV transmission above and beyond individual high-risk behaviors.

Study Design: Literature review of years 1980–2006.

Results: Analysis of the literature suggests that major determinants of HIV transmission amongst FSWs in China include sociopolitical context, gender, work environment and finally, risky sexual behaviors.

Conclusions: Chinese FSWs live in a specific sociopolitical context that shapes their capacities to engage in safe-sex practices. Focusing on FSWs as vectors of HIV/AIDS epidemic in China neglects the larger context that endangers all members of society and blames an already vulnerable population.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association

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