Sale of sex for drugs and drugs for sex: an economic context of sexual risk behavior for STDs
Baseman J, Ross M, Williams M
School of Public Health,
University of Texas,
Houston 77225, USA.
Sex Transm Dis 1999 Sep; 26(8):444-9


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Persons who participate in behaviors such as drug use and buying or selling sex are at elevated risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STD)/human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. GOALS: To describe the economic structure supporting drug use and the buying and selling of sex services in two urban Houston communities. STUDY DESIGN: Residents of two Houston communities participated in street-intercept interviews to obtain information on sex and drug use behaviors. RESULTS: Many members of the population reported having bought or sold sex. A history of crack use significantly predicted the trading of sex for money and drugs, and sellers of sex were more likely to have engaged in recent high-risk sexual behavior than those who had never sold sex. CONCLUSION: The data are suggestive of an underground economy for the exchange of sex for drugs or money, the existence of which facilitates the spread of STDs in high-risk communities.

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