HIV prevalence, sexual and behavioral correlates among Shan, Hill tribe, and Thai male sex workers in Northern Thailand

Thomas E. Guadamuz, Piyada Kunawararak, Chris Beyrer, Jitrat Pumpaisanchai, Chongyi Wei, David D. Celentano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


This paper reports demographic characteristics, HIV prevalence, and correlates among male sex workers (MSW) in Chiangmai, Thailand. A behavioral assessment survey was included as part of the Thailand Ministry of Public Health HIV sentinel surveillance conducted during June 2003. A sample of 181 MSW from 14 sex establishments around Chiangmai who self-identified as sex workers were interviewed. Non-Thai MSW made up half of the sample (48.6%), with the majority being of Shan ethnicity (64.7%). Thai MSW were significantly more likely to report having had receptive anal intercourse (38.0% vs. 11.8%, p<.001) and to have higher HIV prevalence than non-Thai MSW (11.8% vs. 3.4%, p<.001). In multivariate analysis, having one or more than one steady male partner in the past month (Odds Ratio: 5.56, 95% Confidence Intervals: 1.13-27.27 and 8.29, 2.01-34.20, respectively), and being older than 21 years (2.26, 1.04-4.90) were significantly and independently associated with prevalent HIV infection. While Thai MSW had higher HIV prevalence and engage in riskier activities, culturally appropriate education and outreach activities are still needed for the large number of ethnic minority MSW, particularly Shan MSW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-605
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Social Psychology


  • Male sex workers
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Thai and burmese ethnic minorities
  • Thailand


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