Sex work, discrimination, drug use and violence: a pattern for HIV risk among transgender sex workers compared to MSM sex workers and other MSM in Guatemala

Glob Public Health. 2020 Feb;15(2):262-274. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2019.1671984. Epub 2019 Oct 10.

Abstract

The risk of HIV infection is higher among transgender women and cisgender men who have sex with men (MSM) compared to the general population due in part to social and contextual factors. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and association of alcohol and drug abuse, discrimination and violence among transgender sex workers compared to cisgender male sex workers and cisgender men who had not received money for sex in Guatemala City. In 2010, transgender women and cisgender men who had had sex with men or transgender women were recruited into a cross-sectional behavioural survey. Among transgender women, 86% received money for sex in the past year. Transgender sex workers were more likely to use drugs and binge drink, three times as likely to be discriminated against and eight times as likely to be forced to have sex compared to non-sex worker men. Male sex workers were twice as likely to use illicit drugs or experience physical violence and six times as likely to experience forced sex compared to non-sex worker men. Transgender and male sex workers would benefit from harm reduction for substance use, violence prevention, response and strategies to mitigate discrimination.

Keywords: HIV; MSM; Transgender Persons; gender-based violence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Gender Identity
  • Guatemala
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Work
  • Sex Workers*
  • Sexism
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*
  • Substance-Related Disorders
  • Transgender Persons*
  • Violence
  • Young Adult