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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2015 Feb;128(2):169-73. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2014.08.014. Epub 2014 Oct 13.

Examining negative effects of early life experiences on reproductive and sexual health among female sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico.

Author information

1
Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Maternal and Child Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.
2
Division of Global Public Health, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, San Diego, CA, USA.
3
Department of Population Studies, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Tijuana, Mexico.
4
Gender and Sexual Health Initiative, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Division of AIDS, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Electronic address: sgoldenberg@cfenet.ubc.ca.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To explore experiences during childhood and adolescence that influenced reproductive and sexual health among women who had entered the sex industry in adolescence.

METHODS:

A qualitative study was conducted using information provided by 25 female sex workers (FSWs) from Tijuana, Mexico, who reported entering the sex industry when younger than 18 years. In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with all participants between January 31, 2011, and July 8, 2011.

RESULTS:

Four interrelated themes that shaped health experiences-early sexual abuse, early illicit drug use, ongoing violence, and limited access to reproductive and sexual health care-were identified. Participants reporting these experiences were at risk of unintended teenaged pregnancy, spontaneous abortion or stillbirth, and untreated sexually transmitted infections.

CONCLUSION:

Programs and policies that address social, structural, and individual vulnerabilities during adolescence and adulthood are required to promote reproductive and sexual health among FSWs in Tijuana, Mexico.

KEYWORDS:

Drug use; Equity in access; Equity in health; Female sex work; Gender-based violence; Reproductive health; Sexual health; Tijuana

PMID:
25458416
PMCID:
PMC4300273
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijgo.2014.08.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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