Understanding STI Risk and Condom Use Patterns by Partner Type Among Female Sex Workers in Peru

Janni J Kinsler 1, Magaly M Blas 2, Alejandra Cabral 3, Cesar Carcamo 2, Neal Halsey 3, Brandon Brown4, *
1 Department of Community Health Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, USA
2 Unit of Epidemiology, HIV and STD, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru
3 Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA
4 Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, 653 E. Peltason Dr., AIRB Rm. 2024, Irvine, CA 92697-3957, USA

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© Kinsler et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Program in Public Health, University of California, Irvine, 653 E. Peltason Dr., AIRB Rm. 2024, Irvine, CA 92697-3957, USA; Tel: (949) 824-6996; Fax: (949) 824-0529; E-mail:


While brothel-based sex work is regulated by the Peruvian government, there is little data on STI risk factors reported by female sex workers (FSW). This study compared high risk behaviors among 120 Peruvian FSW from government regulated brothels with both clients and non-commercial partners. Our study found that 12% of FSW reported unprotected vaginal sex with clients (compared to 75% with non-commercial partners), and 42% reported unprotected anal sex with clients (compared to 87% with non-commercial partners). Group differences were observed in the expectation to have oral sex (32% for partners vs 60% for clients; p<0.01), and a history of anal sex (65% for partners vs 32% for clients; p<0.01) and both vaginal and anal sex with the same partners (46% for partners vs 25% for clients; p<0.001). These findings suggest that FSW constitute an important bridge population for STI/HIV transmission in Peru.

Keywords: Bridge population, condom use patterns, female sex workers, Peru, STI risk and transmission..