Demographic and Behavioral Correlates of HIV/STI Among Vietnamese Female Sex Workers in Southwest China.

Previous literature has suggested high rates of HIV/STIs among Chinese FSWs. However, limited data were available regarding HIV-related risks among Vietnamese FSWs – a rapidly increasing, vulnerable population in southwest China. The current study examined the demographic and behavioral factors associated with the infection rates of HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis C (HCV) among Vietnamese FSWs in Guangxi, China. We conducted a secondary data analysis of a cumulative sample of 1026 Vietnamese FSWs (aged 14–66) recruited over five years (2010–2014) from 35 National Sentinel Surveillance sites in Guangxi. Analyses included Fisher’s exact chi-square test, t-test, and binary logistic regression. The overall prevalence of HIV, syphilis, and HCV infections among the cross-border women were 3.2%, 6.9%, and 2.6%, respectively. Multivariate analysis showed that greater lengths of sex work and low paying work venues were significant risk factors for HIV infection; for syphilis infection, older age, drug use experience, and forgoing condom use were significant risk factors; for HCV infection, drug use experience was the only significant risk factor. Our findings suggest that elevated HIV-related risks among the Vietnamese FSWs are closely related to their financial disadvantages and that drug use is a prominent risk factor for cross-border women in the sex trade. Furthermore, culturally tailored and linguistically accessible HIV prevention and intervention initiatives that target cross-border FSWs, with a close international collaboration between China and Vietnam, are urgently needed.

Yu, Y.J., Li, X., Tam, G., Zhou, Y., Chen, Y., & Shen, Z. 2016. Demographic and Behavioral correlates of HIV/STI among Vietnamese Female Sex Workers in Southwest China. AIDS Care 28 (11):1455-1460.


Family Relations in the Context of HIV/AIDS in Southwest China


In China, an estimated 780,000 people have been infected with HIV (China AIDS, 2012 China AIDS. (2012). Response progress report: Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China. ). Even as this stigmatized population rapidly grows, with the majority of reproductive age (20–40 years old), information about their daily experiences in the domestic sphere has been scarce. Because the family remains a central unit of social and ethical organization in China, the current qualitative study examines family relations among people living with HIV (PLWH) with the goal of identifying the effect of HIV on family relations and, conversely, the effect of family relations on those with HIV. We analyzed data from 90 in-depth interviews with PLWH and people around them (i.e., their children, health care providers, other community members) in southwest China (Guangxi province). Through analyzing the families’ experiences with illness, three themes emerged: how individuals with HIV interact with their community; how they cope with stigma alongside and against their family; and how families can support those with HIV. Our data ultimately showed the critical role of family in the quality of PLWH’s well-being. Because concealment of their serostatus was the primary coping strategy, stigma manifestation was most obvious in the domestic spheres. Yet, when help was received, PLWH regarded family support as the most helpful, as those who received empathy from their families remained more optimistic. Thus, there is an urgent need for developing efficacious intervention programs that could lead to maximize family support, involving the families of PLWH, with a particular attention to family dynamics in daily interactions. Despite our awareness of the significance of family in China, this study reveals a particular kind of role of family that has rarely been considered, namely the role of family in healing and sustaining social bonds within the context of stigmatization, when those bonds might otherwise be broken.

Yu, Y.J., Li, X., Qiao, S., & Zhou, Y. 2016. Family Relations in the Context of HIV/AIDS in Southwest China. AIDS Care 28(10):1261-1268.