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1.
Cult Health Sex ; : 1-16, 2021 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575719

ABSTRACT

While past studies have sought to capture how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the health and sexual lives of sex workers internationally, less attention has been paid to the reorganisation of sex markets as a result of COVID-19. We conducted a sequential exploratory mixed methods study using in-depth interviews, cyber ethnography and surveyor-administered structured surveys among sex workers. We report two key findings on how the pandemic has impacted sex markets in Singapore. First, the organisation of sex markets shifted as a result of lockdown and associated movement control measures. This shift was characterised by the out-migration of sex workers, the reduction in supply and demand for in-person sex work, and a shift towards online spaces. Second, we found that sex workers experienced greater economic hardship as a result of such changes. Given the potential shifts in sex markets as a result of the pandemic, we adopt a World Health Organisation Health Workplace Framework and Model to identify interventions to improve the occupational safety and health of sex workers in a post-COVID-19 era.

2.
Sex Health ; 18(5): 366-377, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506888

ABSTRACT

Background The SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus disease 2019; COVID-19) pandemic and its concomitant movement control measures have had a profound impact on the world. In spite of its potential impact on sexual health, there is a lack of research on how the pandemic and its movement control measures have impacted sexual wellbeing among Singaporeans. Methods This observational, cross-sectional study was conducted from August to September 2020. Participants were recruited through an online survey instrument promoted through social media. Respondents self-reported their sexual behaviours and levels of sexual satisfaction prior to and during the COVID-19 pandemic movement control measures. Results We recruited a total of 562 participants, of whom 338 (60.1%) ever had a sexual experience. Singles (n=106, 31.4%) and those not living with their partners (n=115, 34.0%) reported a greater decrease in partnered sexual activities but a greater increase in individual sexual activities such as masturbation, sending and receiving nudes and watching pornography, relative to those who were living with their partners (n=117, 34.6%). Multivariable analyses indicated that relative to singles, those who were not living with their partners were more likely to experience a decrease in sexual satisfaction (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR]=1.42, 95% CI [1.07, 1.90]), whereas those who were living with their partners were less likely to experience a decrease in sexual satisfaction (aPR=0.45, 95% CI [0.25, 0.81]). Conclusions Interventions may focus on enhancing sexual wellness by educating on and supporting individual or partnered sexual activities that may vary along the lines of partnership status and living arrangements during the implementation of movement control measures.

3.
Arch Sex Behav ; 50(5): 2017-2029, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1287445

ABSTRACT

We evaluated the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the sex work industry and assessed how it has impacted the health and social conditions of sex workers in Singapore. We conducted a sequential exploratory mixed methods study amidst the COVID-19 pandemic from April to October 2020, including in-depth interviews with 24 stakeholders from the sex work industry and surveyor-administered structured surveys with 171 sex workers. COVID-19 had a substantial impact on sex workers' income. The illegality of sex work, stigma, and the lack of work documentation were cited as exclusionary factors for access to alternative jobs or government relief. Sex workers had experienced an increase in food insecurity (57.3%), housing insecurity (32.8%), and sexual compromise (8.2%), as well as a decrease in access to medical services (16.4%). Being transgender female was positively associated with increased food insecurity (aPR = 1.23, 95% CI [1.08, 1.41]), housing insecurity (aPR = 1.28, 95% CI [1.03, 1.60]), and decreased access to medical services (aPR = 1.74, 95% CI [1.23, 2.46]); being a venue-based sex worker was positively associated with increased food insecurity (aPR = 1.46, 95% CI [1.00, 2.13]), and being a non-Singaporean citizen or permanent resident was positively associated with increased housing insecurity (aPR = 2.59, 95% CI [1.73, 3.85]). Our findings suggest that COVID-19 has led to a loss of income for sex workers, greater food and housing insecurity, increased sexual compromise, and reduced access to medical services for sex workers. A lack of access to government relief among sex workers exacerbated such conditions. Efforts to address such population health inequities should be implemented.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/psychology , Pandemics , Sex Workers/psychology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Singapore/epidemiology
4.
Sex Transm Infect ; 97(3): 174-175, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1189916
8.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 103(1): 35-37, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-381891

ABSTRACT

Globally, more than 4 million people have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 300,000 deaths have been reported across 188 countries. Concealment of one's potential exposure to the virus has negative implications for the spread of COVID-19 across the socio-ecological spectrum, including the futility of contact-tracing efforts, exposure of frontline staff, and the spread of COVID-19 in the community. We draw lessons learned from HIV to discuss stigma and the attribution of blame surrounding the phenomenon of concealment of one's potential exposure to COVID-19 using a socio-ecological perspective. This article also illustrates the psychosocial aspect of the disease, and the negative repercussions of concealment of potential exposure on transmission in the community and to front-liners, healthcare resources, and outbreak containment.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/psychology , Deception , HIV Infections/psychology , Pneumonia, Viral/psychology , Social Stigma , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , HIV Infections/epidemiology , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
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