XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Sex workers at Southern Mexican border: violence and AIDS

Presented by Frida Quintino (Mexico).

F. Quintino1, R. Leyva2, C. Infante2, M. Sánchez3, N. Gómez4

1Autonomous Metropolitan University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, 2National Institute of Public Health - Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, 3National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico, 4National Institute of Health Public Health of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Background: At the Mexico-Guatemala border, violence is a serious problem with a variety of consequences that affects both the local and migrant population, including female sex workers. These women present many conditions of increased vulnerability. In addition to facing stigma and discrimination, they live in situations where violence increases the risk of HIV/STIs and work as sex workers with limited legal protection for their human rights.
Objective: Analyze the factors that influence the vulnerability and risk to sexual violence and HIV/STIs in Mexican and foreign female sex workers. We hope that both groups would present similar socio-demographic profiles, but that the prevalence of sexual violence would be related to the undocumented migratory status of the person.
Methods: We conducted a survey with 213 Mexican and foreign female sex workers, as well as a descriptive, multi-variable analysis to identify the factors associated with sexual violence.
Results: The sex workers' personal profile was: average age 27 years old; 50% unmarried; 75% with children; and an average of seven years of education. Mexican women compromised 30% of the respondents. For the foreigners, 75% are undocumented. When self-reporting condom use, 74% use one with clients, but only 13% with their partner.
In the last twelve months, 78% reported suffering some form of violence. From this percentage, 31% reported psychological violence, 19% physical violence and 63% sexual violence. Sexual violence occurs in direct portion to the socio-demographic variables (nationality, migratory situation, age).
Conclusions: There needs to be a strengthening of the initiatives that incorporate the prevention of and care for sexual violence and HIV/AIDS in a targeted manner, with suitable identification methods and reference to the specificities of the Mexican and migrant sexual workers.

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