HIV/AIDS-related sexual risks and migratory status among female sex workers in a rural Chinese county

AIDS Care. 2009 Feb;21(2):212-20. doi: 10.1080/09540120801932165.


Currently, there are millions of female sex workers (FSWs) in China and these women play a critical role in the escalating HIV epidemic in the country. Existing studies revealed high mobility of this population, but data on the relationship of FSWs' migratory status and their HIV/AIDS-related sexual risks are limited. A cross-sectional survey was administered among 454 FSWs in a rural county of Guangxi, China. Sexual risks and current infections of sexually transmitted disease (STD) were compared among local FSWs (i.e. those who were the county residents or from other parts of Guangxi) and those FSWs who migrated from outside Guangxi. Data reveal that local FSWs were younger, less educated and newer to the sex industry, and had more sexual risks and higher rates of STDs compared to migrant FSWs. This relationship remains significant after controlling for potential confounders. A higher level of sexual risks and STDs among local FSWs than migrant FSWs in the rural Chinese county suggests the need to examine the relationship between migratory status and HIV/AIDS-related risks within specific social and cultural contexts. The data also underscore an urgent need for culturally appropriate HIV/AIDS-prevention intervention efforts among FSWs in rural or less developed areas in China.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Sex Work*
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Young Adult