Reducing Risk for Sex Workers in Mexico

Reducing Risk for Sex Workers in Mexico


>>>>: IN TIJUANA’S RED LIGHT DISTRICT, YOU
CAN FIND A SEX WORKER ANY TIME, EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY.
>>>>: YOU COME RIGHT HERE, AND LOOK FOR A GIRL, YOU GET WHATEVER YOU WANT.
YOU DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, YOU KNOW, FOR A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY.
>>>>: TWENTY NINE YEAR OLD LINDA SANDOVAL HAS BEEN SELLING HERSELF IN THE STREETS FOR
MORE THAN A DECADE. ONE OF THE HOTELS SHE USES CHARGES THREE DOLLARS
FOR 20 MINUTES IN A ROOM.>>>>: YOU JUST STAND HERE AND JUST WAIT FOR
A CLIENT TO GET HERE AND TAKE YOU TO A HOTEL.>>>>KENNY: SANDOVAL STARTED AS A STRIPPER
IN LOCAL CLUB WHEN SHE WAS 13. SHE BEGAN SHOOTING DRUGS SHORTLY AFTER.
SHE SAYS SEX WORK IS HUMILIATING. CLIENTS ASK HER TO DO THINGS YOU COULDN’T
IMAGINE.>>>>: THEY USE DRUGS AND YOU WANT THE MONEY
JUST QUICK, JUST TO GET IT FAST AND YOU WANT TO GET YOUR DOPE.
SO IT DON’T MATTER WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET YOUR DOPE.
>>>>KENNY: AND THAT INCLUDES HAVING UNPROTECTED SEX OR SHARING DIRTY NEEDLES.
THIS KIND OF HIGH RISK BEHAVIOR TAKES ITS TOLL.
AN ESTIMATED SIX PERCENT OF SEX WORKS IN TIJUANA ARE INFECTED WITH HIV, 12% WHO SHOOT DRUGS
HAVE THE DISEASE. THAT’S FORTY TIMES HIGHER THAN THE HIV RATE
IN MEXICO AS A WHOLE. RECENTLY RESEARCHERS FROM UC SAN DIEGO AND
MEXICO DID A STUDY WHICH INVOLVED 600 HIV NEGATIVE SEX WORKERS IN MEXICO.
THE STUDY TESTED WHETHER A BRIEF INTERVENTION COULD REDUCE RISKY BEHAVIOR.
THE WOMEN WERE RANDOMLY ASSIGNED TO FOUR DIFFERENT GROUPS, EACH GROUP RECEIVED 30 MINUTE COUNSELING
SESSION ON HOW TO NEGOTIATE SAFE SEX, AND HOW TO REDUCE RISKY INJECTION PRACTICES.
EACH SESSION WAS EITHER A LECTURE OR MORE INTERACTIVE FORMAT.
EVERY FOUR MONTHS WOMEN WERE TESTD FOR SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES.
AFTER ONE YEAR, THE DATA WAS ANALYZED. UC SAN DIEGO’S STEPHANIE STRAF DIRECTED THE
STUDY. SHE SAYS THE RESULTS WERE DRAMATIC.
>>>>: THE INTERACTIVE VERSION OF THE SAFER SEX INTERVENTION WAS WITH A 60% DECREASE IN
NEW HIV INFECTIONS.>>>>KENNY: IN TIJUANA, RESEARCHERS FOUND
WOMEN WHO RECEIVED EITHER VERSION OF THE SAFE INJECTION INTERVENTION DID EQUALLY WELL.
AND BOTH GROUPS HAD LOWER RATES OF NEW INFECTIONS. AFTER REVIEWING THEIR DATA, RESEARCHERS FIGURED
OUT THE REASON FOR THE DISCREPANCY. TIJUANA HAS A MUCH MORE ROBUST EXCHANGE PROGRAM
THAT CIUDAD JUAREZ.>>>>: IF YOU’RE A CITY OR POLICY MAKER THAT’S
MAKING A DECISION ON HOW TO REDUCE INJECTION RISKS FOR HIV, IT’S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO
HAVE COVERAGE OF STERILE SYRINGES THROUGH EITHER NEEDLE EXCHANGE OR PHARMACIES THAN
TO PROVIDE AN INTERVENTION LIKE THIS. CLEAN SYRINGES COST ABOUT 5 CENTS A PIECE.
SOME QUESTION THE VALUE OF SPENDING ANY MONEY TO PREVENT SEX WORKERS FROM BECOMING INFECTED.
UC SAN DIEGO’S JOSE LUIS SAYS IT’S A SOUND INVESTMENT.
>>>>: EVENTUALLY MANY OF THEM CHANGE THEIR LIVES SOÊ BUT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE CHILDREN,
THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE INTERACTIONS WITH PEOPLE FROM TIJUANA, FROM MEXICO AND FROM THE U.S.
I THINK IT’S AN INVESTMENT THAT MAKES SEX NOT ONLY FOR MEXICO, BUT FOR BOTH COUNTRIES.
>>>>KENNY: LINDA HOPES TO GET OUT OF THE SEX TRADE SOON.
SHE’S MET A GUY SHE’D LIKE TO HAVE A FAMILY WITH.
IN THE MEANTIME SHE SAYS THE INTERVENTIONS CHANGED THE BAY SHE DOES BUSINESS.
THESE DAYS SHE USES CLEAN NEEDLES AND SHE INSISTS THAT ALL OF HER CLIENTS WEAR CONDOMS.
SANDOVAL SAYS MOST OF THEM SAY YES.>>>>: THEY’RE THE ONES THAT SAY YOU’RE RIGHT,
I HAVE A FAMILY OR A WIFE OR WHATEVER OR FOR MYSELF.
AND SOME OF THEM THEY DON’T CARE THEY’RE LIKE IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DO IT I’LL FIND SOMEBODY
ELSE. I’M LIKE ALL RIGHT.

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