Exploring the Influence of Age, Ethnicity and Education as Risk Factors for HIV Transmission among Adolescent and Young Female Sex Workers in Romania (English version)
The present study explored the risk behaviors for HIV transmission of adolescent and young female sex workers (FSW) from three large cities of Romania. A snowball sample of 300 FSW aged 13-24 years old identified the main risk factors for HIV infection, based on measures of association between variables (Pearson chi square), tests for differences of means (t tests) and logistic regressions for predicting the vulnerabilities of respondents. The main risks identified were: injecting drugs and selling sex, being younger (under 18 years old), inconsistent condom use, belonging to the Roma ethnic group and having low education. Context-specific indicators of vulnerability include not having ID papers, having forced sex (reported by more than half of FSW) or having anal sex. Data reveal that younger FSW (under 18 years old) and of Roma ethnicity are experiencing higher risks than older ones and non Roma. While increased vulnerability among younger FSW has previously been identified, this study reveals that ethnic Roma FSW are overrepresented within this group and are particularly at high risk for HIV transmission.
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