Stigma related to sex work among men who engage in transactional sex with men in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
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Male sex workers (MSW) in Vietnam face high levels of stigma related to sex work, which may be associated with depression and increased vulnerability to HIV.
In 2010, 300 MSW completed a behavioral and psychosocial survey. Multivariable models assessed factors associated with sex work-related stigma and the association between stigma and depression.
Factors associated with increased stigma included having disclosed sexual orientation to healthcare workers (b 1.75, 95 % CI 0.69–2.80), meeting clients in the street/park (b 1.42, 95 % CI 0.32–2.52), and having been forced to have sex without a condom (b 2.36, 95 % CI 1.27–3.45). Factors associated with decreased stigma included meeting clients via the telephone or internet (b −1.26, 95 % CI −2.39 to −0.12) and receiving financial support from family or friends (b −1.31, 95 % CI −2.46 to −0.17). Stigma was significantly associated with increased odds of depression (AOR 1.07, 95 % CI 1.01–1.15).
Addressing stigma and depression in HIV prevention interventions is crucial for tailoring these programs to MSWs’ needs, and may result in decreased HIV spread.
KeywordsHIV Sex workers Male sex workers Vietnam Depression Stigma
This study was conducted with the support of a pilot grant from Harvard Catalyst—The Harvard Clinical and Translational Science Center (PIs: Colby and Mimiaga). CEO is supported by NIAID T32AI007535 (PI: Seage).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All study procedures complied with current laws of the country in which they were performed. This study conformed to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.
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