In April 2003 the Commercial Sex Venues Workgroup (CSVWG) was formed as a subcommittee of the SAG. The purpose of this workgroup is to identify new community partners from sex clubs and to raise syphilis awareness in these sex venues.
To reduce the incidence of HIV infection and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among gay men and other men who have sex with men who attend commercial sex venues, including bathhouses and other commercial establishments.
Objectives and Activities
- Develop effective collaborations and partnerships among proprietors of commercial sex venues (CSVs), community-based organizations (CBOs) and public health agencies.
- Maintain and enhance current relationships between CBOs and CSV proprietors, and establish new ones where needed.
- Communicate to venue proprietors that the initiative represents a partnership with them to promote the health of their patrons, and is not a coercive or regulatory effort.
- Conduct one-to-one meetings with venue proprietors to discuss potential strategies for onsite provision of HIV/STD prevention services.
- Conduct quarterly meetings between CSVWG and venue proprietors to maintain ongoing communication and collaboration.
- Provide testing/screening/immunization for HIV, STDs, hepatitis and influenza to MSM who frequent CSVs, either onsite at CSVs or via a mobile van, stationed in the vicinity of a venue or venues.
- Provide rapid HIV testin to patrons of CSVs, either on-site if feasible or via a mobile van. The protocol for rapid testing would address the unique challenges of providing counseling to venue patrons, including whether to test someone who is visibly impaired by drugs or alcohol. If a patron is judged to be too impaired to be counseled/tested, a referral "coupon" could be provided so that the person could be tested at another time.
- Provide hepatitis A and B screening and vaccination
- Provide syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia screening and presumptive treatment for these STDs
- Provide influenza vaccination for venue patrons during "flue season."
- Include onsite HIV and STD testing at CSVs and/or other locations frequented by gay men/MSM as part of the "Healthy Men's Night Out" initiative.
- Provide incentives as needed to ensure that CSV patrons return for test results. (Note: this would not be necessary when rapid HIV testing is provided.) * This item would be an activity initiated and operated by CBOs
- Develope funding strategies to support HIV/STD prevention and testing initiatives targeted to CSVs and their patrons.
- Develop evaluation strategies for interventions targeted to CSVs.
Future Directions Discussion