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AIDS Care. 1998 Apr;10(2):213-20.

The effects of establishment practices, knowledge and attitudes on condom use among Filipina sex workers.

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University of California, Los Angeles, USA, School of Public Health, Center for Health Sciences 90095-1772, USA


The findings for a baseline assessment for a community-based HIV/STD prevention intervention for commercial sex workers (CSWs) and managers of the establishments that employ them in the Philippines is presented in this study. CSW knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and establishment policies concerning HIV prevention were assessed. Baseline assessments are part of an iterative process that will be used to modify the planned intervention. The preliminary findings point to the importance of an intervention that stresses changes in establishment policies and expectations as a means of reducing risk behaviours associated with HIV/STD transmission.


As of May 1996, 1025 HIV-infected individuals had been identified in the Philippines, 260 of whom had AIDS. However, in the Philippines' total population of 65 million, approximately 18,000 adults are estimated to carry HIV. Unprotected sex and multiple partners place prostitutes at risk of contracting and transmitting HIV and other STDs. There are 65,000 registered prostitutes and 200,000 or more freelance sex workers in the Philippines. 1394 registered prostitutes, of whom 98.6% were female, were recruited from commercial sex work establishments in 4 sites about 400 miles from Manila for participation in a study assessing prostitutes' knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and establishment policies concerning HIV prevention. The participants were aged 15-54 of mean age 23.5 years. Establishment policies and practices appear to be more important than prostitutes' knowledge of HIV transmission or their attitudes toward condoms. Any intervention to prevent HIV/STD among prostitutes in the Philippines should therefore consider and possibly target sex work establishments' policies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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