Immigration status and HIV-risk related behaviors among female sex workers in South America

AIDS Behav. 2008 Mar;12(2):195-201. doi: 10.1007/s10461-007-9270-3. Epub 2007 Jun 21.


This study compares immigrant (i.e., foreigner) with non-immigrant (i.e., local/native) HIV-related risk behaviors among female sex workers (FSW) in South America. A total of 1,845 FSW were enrolled in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Uruguay. According to their nationality, 10.1% of participants were immigrant FSW. Immigrant FSW were more likely to be younger in Argentina; to work in a disco/bar in Bolivia; to be single and use illegal drugs in Ecuador; and to work in a brothel, consume alcohol, and have sex with foreign clients in Uruguay. HIV-related sexual and drug use behaviors were more common among immigrant FSW in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Uruguay. Country-specific HIV/STI prevention and control programs should be developed for immigrant FSW populations in South America.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • HIV Seroprevalence*
  • HIV-1
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • South America / epidemiology