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Skip to main content. You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer. Log In Sign Up. Sexual risk variability among brothel-based sex workers has been shown to be influenced by fear of HIV transmission, and by culture-bound gender norms as well as economic need, yet the effect of sexual agency on impoverished Latina sex workers' risk behavior with their clients remains poorly characterized. Participants' narrative explanations for unprotected sex emphasized that clients' preferences often overrode brothel workers fear of HIY, and that the health benefits of using condoms with cli- ents were often weighed against the social benefits of unprotected sex.
Impli- cations for brothel-based condom promotion programs and further research are discussed. Research among brothel ther rigid nor always easily discernible" p. As a more holistic understanding of sex work individual brothel worker's sexual agency, but a pro- cess of transactional negotiations that occur in "so- cialized and institutionalized spaces of sex work" Kathleen Ragsdale, PhD, works at the National Devel- Cabezas, Ragsdale may be reached at: Second, the HBM is lim- Nevada, USA Albert, , support for condom use ited in that it does not adequately address the profound programs among brothel managers - who playa key impact that cultural and gender norms have on sexual role in the success of such programs - as typically ranged communication and risk-reduction self-efficacy.
As Lear from complacency to outright opposition on the states, "practicing safer sex involves a compli- grounds that condoms are bad for business Basuki et cated process of sexual negotiation, requiring a degree al.
However, the quiescing to men's desires" p. In addition to be- brothel system can contribute to unsafe sex behaviors if ing sexually passive, women are expected to exhibit there is little structural support from brothel managers more sexual ignorance than men. In fact, as Marin for consistent condom use Basuki et al. Consistent condom use can be further compro- dorse the belief that women should not know as much mised among brothel workers when normative gender about sex as men, a belief that promotes embarrassment power relations dictate that sexual interactions- includ- and discomfort with sex" p.
The HBM is one of the most widely used theo- agency regarding condom use, social benefits of engag- retical constructs in HIV prevention research, and sug- ing in unprotected sex, and risk-reduction behaviors gests that health beliefs have direct implications for among a sample of Latinas engaged in brothel sex work health choices, According to the HBM, individuals' in Belize, Central America. As a construct, sexual agency IJerceptions of personal vulnerability to HIV will affect is broadly defined as "the degree to which women are their risk-reduction behaviors, As a person's percep- able to act on behalf of their own needs, desires, and tion of susceptibility increases, cues to action from health wishes in terms of sexual behavior, sexual decision- providers, peers, and the media to reduce sexual risk making, and even in terms of how women's sexuality will be more readily translated into risk-reduction be- is viewed within society" Wood, In this ar- haviors.