This study examines whether the challenges of motherhood among female sex workers (FSW) are linked with vulnerability to sexual risk factors for HIV. FSW at least 18 years of age (n = 850) were recruited through respondent driven sampling for a survey on HIV risk in the Rajahmundry area of Andhra Pradesh, India. Logistic regression models adjusted for demographic characteristics were used to assess the relation between reported caretaking challenges and sexual risk indicators for HIV. In adjusted logistic regression models, FSW who reported three or more children in their household or current child health concerns were significantly less likely to report consistent condom use (adjusted odds ratios (AORs) range: 0.5–0.6) and more likely to take more money for sex without a condom (both AORs: 2.5). Women who reported current child health concerns were also more likely to report an STI symptom in the past 6 months (AOR = 1.6; 95 % confidence interval: 1.1–2.3). Findings suggest that challenging responsibilities related to caretaking of children are associated with heightened vulnerability to HIV risk among FSW. Such findings add to the cumulating evidence urging for the implementation of HIV prevention interventions that consider the multiple challenges across various domains of women’s lives.
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Support for this research was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (K. Blankenship, Principal Investigator). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Reed, E., Silverman, J.G., Stein, B. et al. Motherhood and HIV Risk Among Female Sex Workers in Andhra Pradesh, India: The Need to Consider Women’s Life Contexts. AIDS Behav 17, 543–550 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-012-0249-3