Commercial Sex Workers' Condom Use Behavior in Korea

  • Shin Surin (AIDS Programs at the Korean Alliance to Defeat AIDS(KADA)) ;
  • Kang Hee Sun (Department of Nursing, School of medicine, Chung-Ang University) ;
  • Chang Soon-Bok (College of Nursing, Yonsei University, RIHHHPC)
  • Published : 2004.12.01


Purpose. With the continuous spread of the AIDS virus and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) throughout Asia, it has become imperative for HIV/AIDS prevention outreach programs to stress the need for using prophylactics as one form of protection. This is particularly true for commercial sex workers. This pilot study was conducted to investigate the rate of condom use among the commercial sex workers in Korea and reasons why they frequently do not wear condoms during sexual intercourse. Methods. Fifty female commercial sex workers who worked in the Yong San area were recruited while outreach was performed and forty eight responses were analyzed due to two incomplete questionnaires. The data were collected on June 28, 2004 as part of an outreach program for condom use promotion. Results. The subjects ranged in age from 21 to 45 years. Nearly half of the subjects ($47.9\%$) did not consistently use condoms. The major reason for not using protection was clients' reluctances for using condoms. When condoms were used, the subjects preferred lubricant-rich and less painful condom during intercourse. Conclusion. Due to the inconsistent use of condoms, it is clear that many commercial sex workers and clients are susceptible to sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, it is important to not only educate commercial sex workers, but also to educate their pimps and clientele about the importance of condom use. In general, it is recommended that practical strategies and a policy for condom use promotion be developed.


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