SAN DIEGO, July 13 (UPI) -- Risky sex by male clients of sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico, heightens human immunodeficiency virus transmission, U.S. and Mexican researchers say.
The bi-national team of global health researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, examined HIV infection among male clients of female sex workers in Tijuana.
The researchers found more than half of male clients recently had unprotected sex. They also reported a high prevalence of drug use.
"Targeted intervention among male clients is necessary to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections -- intervention that doesn't solely place the onus on female sex workers," lead author Thomas L. Patterson said in a statement.
The study looked at 400 clients -- about half residents of San Diego and the remainder from Tijuana. Their average age was 36.6 years, with the majority Mexican or Hispanic, single, never married or divorced. During the past year, clients had sex with a female sex worker an average of more than 25 times. More than half of the men reported having unprotected sex during the past four months.
The study, published online in the journal AIDS, found half of clients reported having been tested for HIV, 14.2 percent tested positive for Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and/or HIV. The prevalence of HIV infection among clients was similar to that of female sex workers in Tijuana, the study said.