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Contraception. 2011 Aug;84(2):194-8. doi: 10.1016/j.contraception.2010.11.003. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Falling through the cracks: contraceptive needs of female sex workers in Cambodia and Laos.

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  • 1Family Health International, Asia/Pacific Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand.



Condom is the only method promoted for dual protection among female sex workers (FSWs) in most Asian countries, which may be insufficient to prevent pregnancies given FSWs' high frequency of sexual intercourse.


Data were obtained from independent cross-sectional surveillance surveys conducted in Cambodia and Laos. Random samples of FSWs provided behavioral information.


Respondents numbered 592 in Cambodia and 1421 in Laos. In Cambodia, 28.2% had abortions in the past year despite reporting 99.0% condom use at last commercial sex. Abortion increased with the number of clients, inconsistent condom use, recent condom breakage and recent forced unprotected sex with clients. In Laos, 26.0% of all FSWs had ever aborted as had 89.4% of those who had been pregnant in the past 6 months.


FSWs experience higher frequency of abortion than women from the general population. FSWs' reportedly high rate of condom use is insufficient to prevent pregnancies.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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