Penile implantation and risky sexual behaviour among male clients of female sex workers, Myanmar
Introduction: Male clients of female sex workers are at risk for sexually transmitted infections worldwide, yet their behaviours are seldom described in community-based samples. In addition, physical modifications to the penis, such as injections and implantations of objects to enhance sensation, have been noted in diverse cultures. The objective of the present study was to examine risk behaviours of male clients of female sex workers in Myanmar and assess associations between penile modifications and risk for sexually transmitted infections.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 2010 in seven cities of Myanmar. The design used probability proportionate to size sampling of male clients at sex work venues (e.g., brothels, entertainment centres, streets) to approximate a representative sample.
Results: Of 2,945 male clients at sex work venues, 2,740 (93.0%) enrolled. Overall, 9.9% reported penile injections and 10.7% reported implantations. Compared to male clients without penile modifications, those with penile injection or implantation had higher numbers of partners and more episodes of unprotected sex with casual and commercial partners. Condom breakage and history of sexually transmitted disease symptoms were also higher among male clients with penile modifications.
Conclusions: Modifications of the penis mark a constellation of risky behaviours among male clients of female sex workers in Myanmar and may also be causally related to sexually transmitted infections through condom breakage or physical effects on the penis. Health education and counselling on the potential increased risk should be considered for men with penile modifications.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Sun Tun, Tin Aung, May Sudhinaraset, Zaw Win, Willi McFarland
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