Heavy Alcohol Use Among Migrant and Non-Migrant Male Sex Workers in Thailand: A Neglected HIV/STI Vulnerability

Thomas E. Guadamuz, Michael C. Clatts, Lloyd A. Goldsamt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: There is scarce research on male sex workers in the context of alcohol use. While heavy alcohol use has been established as a risk factor for HIV and STI infections among men who have sex with men (MSM), men who engage in sex work with other men, particularly from the Global South, have not been included in these studies. Moreover, studies among male sex workers in Asia often do not explore migration contexts of these men. Objectives: The objective of this exploratory study is to examine the prevalence and correlates of heavy alcohol use among migrant and non-migrant male sex workers in Bangkok and Pattaya, Central Thailand. Methods: Between August and October 2015, 18–24 year-old migrant and non-migrant male sex workers (n = 212) were recruited from various male sex work-identified venues (bars, clubs, massage parlors, and go-go bars) to take an interviewer-administered cross-sectional survey in Bangkok and Pattaya, Thailand. Measures were adapted from previous studies in similar populations and included structured questions across four domains, including demographic characteristics, alcohol use, stimulant use, and sexual behaviors. Multivariable logistic regression assessed the independent associations between heavy alcohol use (heavy versus not heavy) and demographic characteristics, stimulant use and sexual behavior. Results: Heavy alcohol use was prevalent among one-third of participants. Heavy alcohol use was positively associated with male sex workers who were non-migrant and Thai, currently using stimulants, having 15 or more male clients in the past month and having first consumed alcohol at age 15 years or younger. Conclusions: Current HIV prevention efforts should consider subpopulations of MSM, including male sex workers and migrants, as well as other risk behaviors like alcohol, as important contexts for HIV and STI risks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1914
Number of pages8
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Volume53
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 19 2018

Keywords

  • Alcohol use
  • Asia
  • male sex workers
  • migrants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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