The connections of mental health problems, violent life experiences, and the social milieu of the "stroll" with the HIV risk behaviors of female street sex workers

Hilary L. Surratt, Steven P. Kurtz, Jason C. Weaver, James A. Inciardi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the connections of mental health, victimization, and sexual risk behaviors among a sample of 278 street-based female sex workers in Miami. Using targeted sampling strategies, drug-using sex workers were recruited into an HIV prevention research program. Data were collected by trained interviewers, and focused on drug use and sexual risk for HIV, childhood abuse, recent victimization, and mental health. More than half of the participants reported histories of physical (51.1%) or sexual (53.1%) abuse as children, 37.4% were classified with moderate or severe anxiety symptoms, and 52.9% had symptoms of moderate or severe depression. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated significant associations between mental health issues and engagement in recent unprotected vaginal and oral sex. The program development and policy implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-44
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Psychology and Human Sexuality
Volume17
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 21 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Hilary L. Surratt, Steven P. Kurtz, Jason C. Weaver, and James A. Inciardi are all affiliated with the University of Delaware, Center for Drug & Alcohol Studies. Address correspondence to: Hilary L. Surratt, PhD, 2100 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, Suite 1180, Coral Gables, FL 33134 (E-mail: hsurratt@udel.edu). This research was supported by HHS Grant #R01-DA13131 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Drug abuse
  • HIV
  • Sex work
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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