Women engaged in sex work bear a disproportionate burden of HIV infection worldwide, particularly in low- to middle-income countries. Stakeholders interested in promoting prevention and treatment programs are challenged to efficiently and effectively target heterogeneous groups of women. This problem is particularly difficult because it is nearly impossible to know how those groups are composed a priori. Although grouping based on individual variables (e.g., age or place of solicitation) can describe a sample of women engaged in sex work, selecting these variables requires a strong intuitive understanding of the population. Furthermore, this approach is difficult to quantify and has the potential to reinforce preconceived notions, rather than generate new information. We aimed to investigate groupings of women engaged in sex work. The data were collected from a sample of 204 women who were referred to an HIV prevention intervention in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Latent class analysis was used to create subgroups of women engaged in sex work, based on personal and financial risk factors. This analysis found three latent classes, representing unique response pattern profiles of personal and financial risk. The current study approached typology research in a novel, more empirical way and provided a description of different subgroups, which may respond differently to HIV risk interventions.
Personal and Financial Risk Typologies Among Women Who Engage in Sex Work in Mongolia: A Latent Class Analysis.