Gender Based Violence as a Risk Factor for HIV-Associated Risk Behaviors Among Female Sex Workers in Armenia
- 516 Downloads
This cross-sectional study identified the prevalence of gender based violence (GBV) and examined its association with sexual risk behavior among female sex workers (FSWs). Among 120 participants between ages 20 and 52, a total of 56.7 % reported lifetime GBV. Multivariate analyses revealed that GBV was significantly associated with inconsistent condom use, unprotected sex, condom misuse, fear of client reaction to requests of condom use, self-reported history of STIs, and earlier age of initiation of sex work. GBV must be considered an urgent public health priority among FSWs in Armenia. Interventions addressing FSWs, in addition to targeting skill-based, sexual risk reduction must also introduce a discourse among FSWs, sexual partners, clients and community members about the role of GBV in HIV-associated risk behaviors and infection. Structural level initiatives must address economic opportunities for women, health-sector policies and responses to FSWs’ health needs, law enforcement training and societal norms toward women.
KeywordsGender based violence Female sex workers HIV-risk
This research was supported by the US Civil Research and Development Foundation (ARX1-2719-YE-06) and the NIH/FIC AIDS International Training and Research Program of the Emory University (2D43TWO1042). We would like to thank the women who participated in this study as well as Drs. Nora Mnatsakanyan and Marina Khachaturyan of Hope and Help NGO for their dedication to this study and to the women of Yerevan, Armenia.
- 1.UNAIDS. Report on the global AIDS epidemic. Geneva: UNAIDS; 2010.Google Scholar
- 2.NCAP. HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Republic of Armenia. Yerevan: NCAP; 2011. http://www.armaids.am/main/free_code.php?lng=1&parent=3.
- 3.Shatvoryan E. Report on some aspects of commercial sex work in Armenia. Yerevan: UNFPA; 2001.Google Scholar
- 4.Grigoryan S, Mkrtchyan A, Davidyants V. HIV surveillance in the Republic of Armenia, 2000–2002. Yerevan: Armenia National AIDS Foundation; 2002.Google Scholar
- 5.Grigoryan S, Hakobyan A, Papoyan A, Manukyan A, Ohanyan R, Asatryan A. HIV epidemiological surveillance in the Republic of Armenia 2007. Yerevan: Armenian National AIDS Foundation; 2008.Google Scholar
- 6.Melikyan GL. HIV infection among commercial sex workers in Yerevan: findings and policy recommendations. J Contemp Aff. 1999;2:1–16.Google Scholar
- 7.UNAIDS. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Estimating the size of populations of sex workers, men who have sex with men, and injecting drug users in Armenia in 2010. Geneva: UNAIDS; 2010.Google Scholar
- 11.UNAIDS/World Health Organization. AIDS epidemic update 2005. Geneva: UNAIDS; 2005.Google Scholar
- 47.Hosmer DW, Lemeshow SL. Applied logistic regression. New York: Wiley; 1989.Google Scholar
- 51.Centers for Disease Control, Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines 2002. Morb Mort Weekly Rep. 2002;51:1–60.Google Scholar
- 59.DiClemente RJ. Looking forward: future directions for HIV prevention research. In: Peterson JL, DiClemente RJ, editors. Handbook of HIV prevention. New York: Plenum; 2000.Google Scholar