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Brothels have been shown to be safer than street-based sex work, with higher rates of consistent condom use and lower HIV prevalence. While entertainment venues are also assumed to be safer than street-based sex work, few studies have examined environmental influences on vulnerability to HIV in this context.
Interviews were conducted in Khmer by trained interviewers, transcribed and translated into English and analysed for thematic content. The intensification of anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking efforts in Cambodia has increased the number of women working in entertainment venues and on the street.
Our data also indicate that exposure to violence and interactions with the police are mediated by the settings in which sex is sold. Entertainment venues may also provide a high risk environment for sex work. Our results indicate that strategies designed to address HIV prevention among brothel-based FSWs in Cambodia have not translated well to street and entertainment-based sex work venues in which increasing numbers of women are working.