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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Condom use and its correlates among female sex workers in Hanoi, Vietnam

  • Author(s): Tran, Trung Nam
  • Detels, Roger
  • Lan, Hoang Phuong
  • et al.

Knowledge of female sex workers' (FSW) condom use behaviors in Vietnam is important for predicting the epidemic and designing interventions. Four hundred FSWs in Hanoi were studied in 2002. Consistent condom use in the past month was higher with irregular clients (62%), less with regular clients (41%), and lowest with "love mates" (5%). Reasons for not using condoms were partner objection, condom unavailability, and belief of partner's disease-free status. Twenty-seven percent reported not always having a condom available. Thirty-five percent reported increasing condom use in the previous 6 months. Reluctance to ask clients to use condoms and condom unavailability were independently associated with inconsistent condom use with both irregular and regular clients. Older age was also associated with inconsistent condom use with irregular clients. Condom promotion should focus on FSWs and their partners. Negative attitudes toward FSWs and condom promotion need to be changed to reduce stigmatization of FSWs and to make condom use a norm in the society.

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