HIV-1 infection among lower class commercial sex workers in Chiang Mai, Thailand

AIDS. 1994 Apr;8(4):533-7. doi: 10.1097/00002030-199404000-00018.


Objective: To determine risk factors for HIV-1 infection in female commercial sex workers (CSW) in northern Thailand.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey of female CSW from 11 sex establishments frequented by military conscripts that included an interview and serological testing for HIV-1.

Results: The HIV-1 seroprevalence in 230 CSW was 65%; the rate was lower among CSW from Chiang Mai than from rural areas. Multivariate logistic regression analysis for HIV-1 included the following significant factors: non-urban location of the sex establishment, ethnic Thai lowlander, lower price, history of genital warts and dysuria. Condom use, number of partners and duration of employment were not significantly associated with HIV-1 prevalence after adjustment for other risk factors.

Conclusions: The high level of HIV-1 seroprevalence in this sample demonstrates the risk of transmission in lower cost commercial sex encounters in northern Thailand. Non-Thais (ethnic Hill tribes and Burmese) had lower HIV-1 prevalence than ethnic Thais. Type of establishment ('direct' brothel-based or 'indirect' establishments) was not predictive of HIV-1 seroprevalence. However, rural establishments were less vigilant in promoting condom use, suggesting the need for renewed efforts to enforce the Ministry of Public Health's '100% Condom Campaign' in commercial sex establishments.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Thailand / epidemiology