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Perspect Sex Reprod Health. 2004 Jul-Aug;36(4):150-6.

Use of commercial sex workers among Hispanic migrants in North Carolina: implications for the spread of HIV.

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Department of Sociology, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.



Rates of HIV and AIDS have risen among U.S. Hispanics and in migrant-sending regions of Mexico and Central America, pointing to a link between migration and HIV. However, little is known about male migrants' sexual risk behaviors, such as the use of commercial sex workers.


The prevalence and frequency of commercial sex worker use was examined among 442 randomly selected Hispanic migrants in Durham, North Carolina. Logistic and Poisson regression techniques were used to model predictors of commercial sex worker use, and descriptive data on condom use with commercial sex workers were examined.


Twenty-eight percent of respondents reported using the services of a commercial sex worker during the previous year; rates reached 46% among single men and 40% among married men living apart from their wives. Men with spouses in Durham were less likely than other men to use commercial sex workers (odds ratio, 0.1). Among men who used commercial sex workers, the frequency of visits declined with greater education (incidence rate ratio, 0.9) and increased with hourly wage (1.1). Frequency and use declined with years of residence, although the results were of borderline significance. Reported rates of condom use with commercial sex workers were high, but were likely to fall if familiarity with a commercial sex worker increased.


Commercial sex workers represent an important potential source of HIV infection. Educational and behavioral interventions that take into account social context and target the most vulnerable migrants are needed to help migrants and their partners avoid HIV infection.

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