Community-based HIV and STI prevention in women working in indoor sex markets

Health Promot Pract. 2013 Mar;14(2):247-55. doi: 10.1177/1524839912447189. Epub 2012 Aug 10.


Community research into women's experiences in the indoor commercial sex industry illustrated an urgent need for sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV education, prevention, testing, and treatment and culturally appropriate services to support the sexual and reproductive health of commercial sex workers (CSWs). This work also revealed that a high number of immigrant--primarily Asian--women are involved in the indoor sex industry. In response, the authors developed a community-academic research partnership to design and implement a blended outreach research program to provide STI and HIV prevention interventions for indoor CSWs and their clients. This Community Health Worker Model HIV Prevention and Health Promotion Program incorporated health education, primary care referrals, STI testing using self-swab techniques, and a point-of-care HIV screening test. Here the authors report on program implementation, design, and the experiences of participants and team members and provide research and vaccination recommendations for future work in this area. This work work affirms that community-based service providers can be a key entry point for indoor CSWs to access health care and sexual health promotion and education and may be a solution to missed opportunities to provide culturally and contextually appropriate education and services to this population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Canada
  • Community Networks*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Education
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Sex Workers*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Young Adult