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Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 90, Issue 6, pp 1166–1180 | Cite as

Men Who Purchase Sex, Who Are They? An Interurban Comparison

  • Danielle C. OmpadEmail author
  • David L. Bell
  • Silvia Amesty
  • Alan G. Nyitray
  • Mary Papenfuss
  • Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce
  • Luisa L. Villa
  • Anna R. Giuliano
Article

Abstract

Most research concerning clients of commercial sex workers (CSWs) relies upon CSW reports of client characteristics and behavior. We describe correlates of ever purchasing sex among 3,829 men from three cities: São Paulo, Brazil; Cuernavaca, Mexico; and Tampa, USA. A computer-assisted self-interview collected data on demographics and sexual behavior. There were significant site differences—26.5 % paid for sex in São Paulo, 10.4 % in Cuernavaca, and 4.9 % in Tampa. In all cities, men who had sex with men and women (versus sex with women only) were more likely to have ever paid for sex. In São Paulo and Cuernavaca, CSW clients were older, had higher educational attainment, and were less likely to be married. In Tampa, older age was associated with being a CSW client but not education and marital status. In São Paulo and Cuernavaca, CSW clients had more partners than men who had never paid for sex. In São Paulo, CSW clients initiated vaginal sex at an earlier age, while in Cuernavaca they were more likely to self-report a sexually transmitted infection. CSW clients varied with respect to demographics across the three cities while the association between paying for sex and risky sexual behavior seems to be somewhat conserved. These findings suggest that interventions among CSW clients should focus on condom use with commercial and non-commercial partners as these men may be at increased risk for transmitting and acquiring sexually transmitted infections to and from their sex partners. Better understanding of client characteristics is needed for targeting interventions and creating culturally appropriate content.

Keywords

Commercial sex workers Men Clients Brazil Mexico United States Interurban 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like thank the men who provided personal information for the study. This study was supported by the National Cancer Institute (1R03CA134204 and RO1CA098803 (ARG)).

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Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle C. Ompad
    • 1
    Email author
  • David L. Bell
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Silvia Amesty
    • 3
    • 4
  • Alan G. Nyitray
    • 5
  • Mary Papenfuss
    • 6
  • Eduardo Lazcano-Ponce
    • 7
  • Luisa L. Villa
    • 8
    • 9
  • Anna R. Giuliano
    • 6
  1. 1.Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) and Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human DevelopmentNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsCollege of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Population and Family HealthColumbia University Mailman School of Public HealthNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Center for Family and Community MedicineColumbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Center for Infectious DiseasesThe University of Texas School of Public Health at HoustonHoustonUSA
  6. 6.Center for Infection Research in Cancer (CIRC)H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research InstituteTampaUSA
  7. 7.Instituto Nacional de Salud PúblicaCuernavacaMexico
  8. 8.School of MedicineUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  9. 9.School of Medical SciencesSanta Casa de São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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