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Journal Article


Hong Y, Zhang C, Li X, Liu W, Zhou Y. PLoS One 2013; 8(4): e62290.


School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College Station, Texas, United States of America.


(Copyright © 2013, Public Library of Science)






BACKGROUND: Despite recognized vulnerability of female sex workers (FSW), most data on this population are focused on their HIV and STI prevalence; studies on their experience of partner violence and psychosocial distress are limited, especially FSW in China. METHODS AND FINDINGS: A cross-sectional survey was administered among 1,022 FSW recruited from 9 different types of commercial sex venues in Southwest China. Partner violence scales were adapted from WHO's Women's Health and Domestic Violence scale and psychosocial distress was measured by five indicators, including alcohol intoxication, drug use, suicidal behavior, depression, and loneliness. Random effects modeling was used to control for cluster effects.About 58% of FSW ever experienced violence from their stable partners, and 45% suffered it from their clients. Partner violence was strongly associated with each of the five measures of psychosocial distress, even after controlling for potential confounders. CONCLUSION: This study is one of the first to examine the association between partner violence and psychosocial distress among FSW in China. The high prevalence of violence experience and distress in this population suggests urgency for intervention. The public health programs targeting FSW should go beyond the focus on HIV/STI prevention and care for the fundamental health and human rights of millions of FSW in China.

Language: en


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