June 29, 2013
The National Institutes of Health is spending $253,800 of federal taxpayer money to study ways to educate Boston’s male prostitutes on safe-sex practices.
According to a description of the federally funded project, a previous study of male sex workers in Boston found that “almost one third (31%) were HIV-infected, and most (84%) had a steady male or female partner, thus the risk for HIV-infection/transmission is not only to/from their sex work clients but also to/from their primary partners… Notably, every participant reported using a variety of drugs and/or alcohol in the context of sex work in the prior 12 months”
The current study, headed by Dr. Matthew Mimiaga at the Boston-based Fenway Community Health Center, began May 15th of this year and runs through April 30, 2015. It will specifically look at “how contemporary social, sexual, and drug use network characteristics contribute to increased HIV and STI [sexually-transmitted infections] risk behavior and transmission of HIV and other STIs among MSM [“men who have sex with men”] sex workers.”