Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 86, Supplement 1, pp 32–47 | Cite as

Transactional Sex among Men and Women in the South at High Risk for HIV and Other STIs

  • Georgiy V. Bobashev
  • William A. Zule
  • Karen C. Osilla
  • Tracy L. Kline
  • Wendee M. Wechsberg


Transactional sex refers to selling sex (exchanging sex for money, drugs, food, shelter, or other items) or purchasing sex (exchanging money, drugs, food, shelter, or other items for sex). These activities have been associated with a higher risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in a variety of populations and settings. This paper examines correlates of purchasing and selling sex in a large sample of drug users, men who have sex with men, and sex partners of these groups. Using respondent-driven sampling, participants were recruited between 2005 and 2008 in two urban and two rural counties in North Carolina. We used multiple logistic regressions to examine separate models for selling and purchasing sex in men and women. In addition, we estimated direct and indirect associations among independent variables in the logistic regression models and transactional sex using structural equation models. The analysis shows that factors associated with women selling and buying sex include being homeless, use of stimulants, bisexual behavior, and neighborhood disorder. There was also a significant difference by race. For men, the factors associated with selling and buying sex include being homeless, bisexual behavior, and not being in a relationship. Although neighborhood violence and disorder show significance in bivariate associations with the outcome, these associations disappear in the structural equation models.


Transactional sex Sex trading Sexual risk Men who have sex with men Women HIV 



This research is supported by grant no. U01DA017373 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The interpretations and conclusions do not necessarily represent the position of NIDA or the US Department of Health and Human Services.


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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgiy V. Bobashev
    • 1
  • William A. Zule
    • 1
  • Karen C. Osilla
    • 2
  • Tracy L. Kline
    • 1
  • Wendee M. Wechsberg
    • 1
  1. 1.RTI InternationalResearch Triangle ParkUSA
  2. 2.RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA

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