The influence of migration in substance use practices and HIV/STI-related risks of female sex workers at a dynamic border crossing

J Ethn Subst Abuse. Oct-Dec 2020;19(4):503-520. doi: 10.1080/15332640.2018.1556763. Epub 2019 Feb 22.


We explored the association of international migration with substance use and HIV/STI risk factors among female sex workers (FSW). Using modified time-location sampling, we recruited 266 FSW at the Mexico-Guatemala border. Crude and adjusted logistic regression models were used to evaluate the relationships. HIV risks, such as frequent hard drug use and drug use in another country, were greater for migrant compared to nonmigrant FSW. However, more migrant versus nonmigrant FSW reported consistent condom use with clients and having a health card. Our study highlights regional patterns of substance use among FSW and risk or protective behaviors related to migration status.

Keywords: HIV; Mexico-Guatemala border; Substance use; international migrants; sex work.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Emigration and Immigration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Guatemala
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Mexico
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Workers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*
  • Unsafe Sex / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult