Contraception and Clean Needles: Feasibility of Combining Mobile Reproductive Health and Needle Exchange Services for Female Exotic Dancers

At the time of the study, Eva Moore was with the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Jennifer Han, Christine Serio-Chapman, Cynthia Mobley, and Catherine Watson are with the Baltimore City Health Department. Mishka Terplan is with the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.
American Journal of Public Health (Impact Factor: 3.93). 08/2012; 102(10):1833-1836. DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2012.300842
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Young women engaged in exotic dancing have a higher need for reproductive health services than women not in this profession, and many also use drugs or exchange sex for money or drugs. Few report receiving reproductive health services. We describe a public health, academic, and community partnership that provided reproductive health services on needle exchange mobile vans in the "red light district" in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. Women made 220 visits to the vans in the first 21 months of the program's operation, and 65% of these visits involved provision of contraception. Programmatic costs were feasible. Joint provision of needle exchange and reproductive health services targeting exotic dancers has the potential to reduce unintended pregnancies and link pregnant, substance-abusing women to reproductive care, and such programs should be implemented more widely.

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