Syndemic factors and resiliency among Latina immigrant indirect sex workers in an emergent immigrant city

Post Date: 
2018-08-23
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Countries: 
Publication: 
Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
Summary: 

Female sex workers (FSW) constitute a highly vulnerable population challenged by numerous co-existing, or syndemic, risk factors. FSW also display resilience to these, and some evidence suggests that resilience may be associated with protective factors that improve health outcomes. We conducted in-depth interviews with indirect sex workers (n = 11) and their clients (n = 18). Interviews were coded utilizing an iterative, modified constant comparison method to identify emergent themes. We identified five syndemic risk factors (difficulty finding work due to undocumented status, shame and mental health hardship, lack of social support, alcohol use, and violence) and five resilient factors(rationalizing sex work, identifying as a "decent" woman, fulfilling immigrant goals, reducing alcohol consumption, and creating rules to reduce risk of violence and HIV/STIs). Understanding the syndemic risk factors and resiliency developed by FSW is important to develop tailored, strength-based interventions for HIV/STIs and other risks.

Citation: 
Grieb SD, Flores-Miller A, Sherman SG, Page KR. Syndemic factors and resiliency among Latina immigrant indirect sex workers in an emergent immigrant city. J Immigr Minor Health. 2018 Aug 23. doi: 10.1007/s10903-018-0819-1. [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 30141023.
Collaborators: 
  • Center for Child and Community Health Research, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore
  • Center for Salud/Health and Opportunity for Latinos, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
  • Department of Health, Behavior & Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD