The relationship between transactional sex, HIV risk, and partner violence has been well documented in South Africa, but research has focused primarily on women and has not been conducted in high-risk social contexts. The aim of this study was to examine associations between transactional sex and HIV risk among women and men in alcohol-serving venues in Cape Town, South Africa. We surveyed 1,989 women and 2,468 men attending alcohol-serving venues in Cape Town, South Africa to assess transactional sex behavior (i.e., receiving money or goods in exchange for sex), alcohol and drug use, history of childhood abuse, current relationship violence, and sexual risk behaviors. Among both women and men, trading sex was related to higher alcohol use, greater likelihood of drug use, substance use in sexual contexts, and a greater likelihood of experiencing physical and sexual violence. Compared to other women, women who traded sex reported a greater proportion of condom-unprotected sex; this relationship was not found for men. Analyses showed that men were almost twice as more likely to report trading sex for items, including money or alcohol, than women (9.7 vs. 5.8 %). Overall, men who traded sex were similar to their female counterparts. Similar associations between trading sex and different risk behaviors were found among women and men with limited economic means and substance use problems. Future research should more closely study transactional sex in high-risk venues as it relates to violence and should examine men who trade sex as a potential bridge population between heterosexual women and men who have sex with men.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2013
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