Trafficking of women and vulnerability to HIV/STI infection in urban Mexico

Arun Kumar Acharya, Jennifer Bryson Clark


Trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is a prevalent problem that may adversely affect many aspects of women’s health. In this paper, we examine how sexual exploitation is exposing trafficked women to HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases in urban Mexico. The objectives are to explore the relationship between women trafficked within Mexico and forced entry into prostitution and sexual exploitation, and the ways in which sexual exploitation can make trafficked women vulnerable to the risk of HIV and STI. During 2003-2006 and 2007-2011, we conducted 110 in-depth interviews conducted in Mexico City and Monterrey. The results indicate that trafficked women are physically and sexually abused and engage in high-risk sexual behavior leading to infection with different kinds of sexually transmitted diseases. This abuse and high-risk behavior coupled with high numbers of clients serviced daily, indicates that trafficked women are at a higher risk of HIV/STI infection.

Arun KUMAR ACHARYA, Professor, Instituto de Investigaciones Sociales, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico. E-mail:

Jennifer BRYSON CLARK, Associate Professor and Chairperson at South Texas College, South Texas Collage, USA. E-mail:

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ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54