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An Assessment of Sites Where Persons Go to Meet Sexual Partners in St. James, Jamaica, Using the PLACE Method

Figueroa, J Peter MD, PhD*; Dolan, Carrie B. MPH; Dale, Diahnn MD, MPH; Hileman, Sarah Bassett MPH; Weir, Sharon PhD

Sexually Transmitted Diseases: June 2007 - Volume 34 - Issue 6 - p 410-415
doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000243622.05225.04

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess sexual behavior of persons at risk of HIV infection.

Goal: The goal of this study was to identify sites where HIV prevention is needed.

Study Design: Customers at sites where persons meet new sex partners in St. James, Jamaica, were surveyed.

Results: Of 421 sites, 282 men and 200 women (random sample, 23 sites) and 320 men and 265 women (special sample, 26 sites) were interviewed. Over one fourth of men and 14% (special) and 4% (random) of women had one or more new sex partners in the last 4 weeks. Seventy-eight percent of men reported condom use at last sex with a new partner compared with 66% of women. Approximately 50% of respondents reported condom use at last sex with a regular partner.

Conclusion: Sites at which people meet new sex partners were diverse with significant opportunities for prevention. Commercial and transactional sex are features at many sites.

A study of sexual behavior at sites where persons go to meet new sex partners in St. James, Jamaica, highlighted a significant gap between actual prevention activities and onsite opportunities for prevention.

From the *Ministry of Health; the †Western Regional Health Authority; and the ‡University of North Carolina

The authors thank all health staff who had an input into the study, the interviewers and supervisors, and Hope Enterprises for data management.

The PLACE study is a joint initiative among Ministry of Health (MOH) Jamaica, Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, and the Western Regional Health Authority (WRHA). Funding for the assessment was provided by USAID through the MEASURE Evaluation Project.

Correspondence: J. Peter Figueroa, Chief, Epidemiology and AIDS, Ministry of Health, National HIV/STI Control Program, 2-4 King Street, Kingston, Jamaica. E-mail:

Received for publication May 26, 2006, and accepted August 14, 2006.

© Copyright 2007 American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association