History of sex trafficking, recent experiences of violence, and HIV vulnerability among female sex workers in coastal Andhra Pradesh, India

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Aug;114(2):101-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.03.005. Epub 2011 May 26.


Objectives: To estimate the prevalence of sex trafficking as a mode of entry into sex work, and to examine associations between sex trafficking and recent violence experiences and HIV vulnerability among female sex workers (FSWs).

Methods: In a cross-sectional study in 2006 in coastal Andhra Pradesh, India, 812 FSWs were recruited via respondent-driven sampling to take part in an oral survey of their experiences in sex work.

Results: One in 5 (19.3%) FSWs met the UN definition of sex trafficking. Women trafficked into sex work were more likely than other FSWs to report recent violence experiences (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.32-2.81), more clients per week (AOR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.11-2.41), and more days of sex work per week (AOR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.18-2.63), and were less likely to report use of FSW-focused services (AOR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.42-0.86). No significant differences emerged regarding HIV knowledge or consistent condom use.

Conclusion: There was a high prevalence of sex trafficking. A history of sex trafficking was associated with a greater vulnerability to recent violence and HIV risk behaviors, underscoring the need for increased attention to the public health needs of trafficked populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Human Rights Abuses*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Work*
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data
  • Violence*
  • Young Adult