Forced Sex Work in Vietnam: Perceptions and Realities

Rosanne M. Rushing, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Many girls from rural areas are persuaded into migration and end up in sex work as a result of need or desire for increased income. Young migrant women are commonly forced into work in the sex industry and are therefore exposed to HIV/AIDS/STIs. Their entry into a high-risk situation is frequently characterized by powerlessness, with limited to no control over their sexual lives and well-being. Many female youth sex workers are faced with instability, loss of family environment, forced sex, violence, and stigmatisation. As a result, the risk of AIDS does not emerge high on their list of priorities. Drawing on data from interviews with young women now working as sex workers in the city, the young women reported that it was their duty or obligation to stay in the city and accept the risks due to the money it provided to themselves and their families.

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Presented in Session 63: HIV/AIDS in Asia