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Aside from this study, few female sex work studies have interviewed youth under Results suggest a need for organizational and policy level interventions to protect adolescent females from working in unsafe environments in the Philippines and to prevent youth from being recruited into high-risk situations.
Palermo Protocol and the Philippines Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act include in their definition of trafficking any individual below 18 who trades sex. Sex work and being a minor working in a bar or spa are illegal in the Philippines. Their structural HIV risks include longer captivity in brothel settings, recruitment from public settings markets, train stations and via public transportation, and enticement for economic reasons Silverman, et al, ; The definition of trafficking as being a minor trading sex drove the research question for this study.
We theorize that minors trading sex in the southern Philippines have less socio-structural support peer, manager, organizational compared to older FSWs and will be at higher risk for substance use, control by managers, and less exposure to HIV prevention messages. Filipina female bar and spa workers were recruited from venues on four southern Philippine islands, southern Luzon, Cebu, Ilo-Ilo, and northern Mindanao. Thirty-nine individuals did not participate due to unavailability; they did not differ on sociodemographic characteristics compared to individuals who participated.
All study participants received the same educational counseling as all receiving care at the government-run Social Hygiene Clinics SHCs , including referrals to organizations for further assistance. Measures were adapted from Morisky et al Socio-demographic variables included age recoded dichotomously 14—17, 18—48 , education, number of children, marital status, months worked trading sex, and self-reported STIs in the past 6 months.
Participants answered how they were recruited; unknown was whether they entered work in the absence of force, coercion or trickery. Social-structural influences were single items Yes-No for whether anyone told them how to prevent HIV or how to use a condom properly; support of HIV prevention from a co-worker; manager support of condoms with clients; what manager told them to do if client refused condom; and presence of venue condom rule and condom availability.