HIV-prevention efforts in Cambodia have principally focused on the role
of female entertainment workers in transmitting the virus to the general
population. This has meant that male clients of entertainment workers
have often been overlooked and underserved by HIV-prevention activities
and messaging. Data collected from men who frequent entertainment
venues, such as beer halls or karaoke bars, reveal that more than half
report paying for sex in the last 12 months and around 40% report having
three or more commercial partners in that timeframe. Relatively little
is known about the decision-making processes of men who purchase
commercial sex in Cambodia.
The goals of this study were fourfold:
(1) to explore the sexual decision-making processes of men who
regularly patronize high-risk entertainment venues;
(2) to identify key behavior patterns and social inducements that lead
high-risk men to frequently have sex with entertainment workers;
(3) to locate decisive junctures in the course of men's socializing
when a decision to not seek the services of an entertainment worker
could be made; and
(4) to produce a series of personalized archetypes that can be used by
programmers to frame behavior change messaging for entertainment
establishment based HIV-prevention interventions.
Forty-eight men (age 21-35) who said they had had sex with an
entertainment worker within the preceding six months were selected for
interview by PSI researchers. Each was scheduled to complete two
interviews: a narrative interview covering a typical evening of
socializing, and an interview that covered influencers, the dynamics of
opting in or out of sex, condom habits, and positive deviants. Twelve
men were interviewed one-on-one and 36 participated in small group
discussions. Sixteen brothel-based and non-brothel-based entertainment
workers, chosen by United Health Network program staff, were also
interviewed. Entertainment workers were included in the hope that they
could provide insight into men's sex-seeking decision-making processes.
Data were collected from February-April 2007.
After the introduction and objectives of the study, and the methods
used, Khmer masculinities and group dynamics and sexual decision-making
are described and discussed. This is followed by the conclusions of the
study and the presentation of 3 archetypes and 3 scenarios.
Population Services International, Washington DC, USA/Family Health International (FHI) , 62 pp.
Let’s go for a walk. Sexual Decision-making among Clients of Female Entertainment Service Workers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia