Sexual Networking in a Provincial Thai Setting

Publication Abstract

Havanon, Napaporn, Anthony Bennett, and John E. Knodel. 1992. "Sexual Networking in a Provincial Thai Setting." AIDS Prevention Monograph Series, Paper No. 1.

This study was conducted to determine the types of connection that exist between commercial sex patrons and non- commercial sex partners by documenting the variety and number of sexual relationships among a selection of men and women in one province of Central Thailand. Such information is crucial to the study of the spread and containment of HIV infection. A secondary but nevertheless still important goal of the study was to determine if ostensibly accurate and detailed information could be collected on the presumably sensitive topic of sexual relations with multiple partners using a semi-qualitative methodology.

Findings show that sexual networking among persons with multiple partners is quite complex and varies on a number of dimensions. Of particular importance is that male sexual behavior (and notably condom use) depends on who the sex partner is: wife, non-commercial sex partner, commercial sex worker or a woman who is preceived to have many other sex partners. Thus, behavior change needs to be viewed in the context of the type of sexual relationship. Men do not perceive the same risk for STD for all sex workers and this may be an important determinant of condom use. In general, men underestimate the risk of not using condoms in commercial sex relations. The findings from this study indicate that this is probably a result of incorrect and imcomplete understanding of how HIV is transmitted and how the disease manifests itself. Thus, an important focus of health education campaigns should be to improve the ability of commercial sex workers and customers to accurately assess risk when not using condoms.

Later Issued As:
Havanon, Napaporn, Anthony Bennett, and John E. Knodel. 1993. "Sexual Networking in Provincial Thailand." Studies in Family Planning, 24(1): 1-17. DOI. Abstract.

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