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Street-Based Female Adolescent Puerto Rican Sex Workers: Contextual Issues and Health Needs

Burgos, Margarita PhD; Richter, Donna L. EdD; Reininger, Belinda DrPH; Coker, Ann L. PhD; Saunders, Ruth PhD; Alegría, Margarita PhD; Vera, Mildred PhD

Health of Children—Part 2
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Adolescent sex workers potentially have many health needs but are included rarely in health assessments; therefore, little is known about their needs or how to reach them. This study examines the motivations, social context, and health needs of street-based adolescent sex workers. The results show these youths are more likely to experience negative health outcomes, such as unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, when they are using drugs or are depressed. These findings suggest the need for comprehensive programming to include individual, interpersonal, and greater environmental interventions. Examples for reaching adolescent sex workers are discussed.

Project Director, Department of Health Promotion and Education (Burgos)

Associate Professor and Chairperson, Department of Health Promotion and Education (Richter)

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Education (Reininger)

Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (Coker)

Assistant Professor, Department of Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina (Saunders)

Director, Department of Health Administration, Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research, School of Public Health (Alegría)

Associate Professor, Department of Health Administration, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico (Vera)

This research was supported by grant no. G12–RR–03051 to the Center for Evaluation and Sociomedical Research from the National Institutes of Health through the Research Center for Minority Institutions.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.