Condom Use and Its Correlates Among Female Sex Workers in Hanoi, Vietnam
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Knowledge of female sex workers’ (FSW) condom use behaviors in Vietnam is important for predicting the epidemic and designing interventions. Four hundred FSWs in Hanoi were studied in 2002. Consistent condom use in the past month was higher with irregular clients (62%), less with regular clients (41%), and lowest with “love mates” (5%). Reasons for not using condoms were partner objection, condom unavailability, and belief of partner's disease-free status. Twenty-seven percent reported not always having a condom available. Thirty-five percent reported increasing condom use in the previous 6 months. Reluctance to ask clients to use condoms and condom unavailability were independently associated with inconsistent condom use with both irregular and regular clients. Older age was also associated with inconsistent condom use with irregular clients. Condom promotion should focus on FSWs and their partners. Negative attitudes toward FSWs and condom promotion need to be changed to reduce stigmatization of FSWs and to make condom use a norm in the society.
KEY WORDS:HIV/AIDS sex workers condoms behavior Vietnam.
This project was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health/Fogarty International Center (#TW00013). The authors thank Dr. Nguyen Tran Hien and Mr. Nguyen Anh Tuan for their valuable support. We are very grateful to the outreach workers, the staff of the Hanoi Dermatology and Venerology Center, and DKT Vietnam for their contributions to the conduct of the study, and to Wendy Aft for assisting in the preparation of the manuscript.
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