Structural vulnerabilities to HIV/STI risk among female exotic dancers in Baltimore, Maryland

Meredith L. Reilly, Danielle German, Chris Serio-Chapman, Susan G. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Female exotic dancers (FEDs) are an important, yet understudied group of women who may engage in drug- and sex-related HIV/STI risk behaviors through their work. The study objective was to identify co-occurring indicators of vulnerability (e.g., housing, income, incarceration) associated with HIV/STI risk behavior among FEDs in Baltimore, Maryland. Surveys administered during July 2008-February 2009 captured socio-demographic characteristics, drug use, and sexual practices among dancers (N = 101) aged ≥18 years. Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess the relationship between vulnerability and risk behavior. Dancers with a high vulnerability score (i.e., 2 or more indicators) were more likely to report sex exchange (AOR: 10.7, 95% CIs: 2.9, 39.9) and multiple sex partnerships (AOR: 6.4, 95% CIs: 2.3, 18.3), controlling for demographics and drug use, compared to their less vulnerable counterparts. Findings point to primacy of macro-level factors that need to be addressed in HIV/STI prevention efforts targeting this and other high-risk populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)777-782
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2015


  • HIV/STIs
  • female exotic dancers
  • illicit drug use
  • sex exchange
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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