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Public Health Program


Background: Despite great achievements in reducing the prevalence of HIV, eliminating new HIV infections remains a challenge in Cambodia. Entertainment venues such as restaurants, karaoke bars, beer gardens, cafes, pubs, and massage parlors are now considered important venues for HIV prevention efforts and other health outreach interventions.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore phone use and texting practices of female entertainment workers (FEWs) in order to determine if text messaging is a feasible and acceptable way to link FEWs to health services.

Methods: This cross-sectional phone survey was conducted in May 2015 with 97 FEWs aged 18–35 years and currently working at an entertainment venue in Phnom Penh.

Results: Of the 96 respondents, 51% reported sending text messages daily; of them, 47% used Khmer script and 45% used Romanized Khmer. Younger FEWs were more likely to report daily texting (P

Conclusions: The findings from this study support the development of mHealth interventions targeting high-risk groups in urban areas of Cambodia. Our data suggest that mHealth interventions using texting may be a feasible way of reaching FEWs in Phnom Penh.

Publisher's Statement

Originally published in JMIR Mhealth and Uhealth, 4(2) [Article e52]. Licensed under CC BY 2.0. doi:10.2196/mhealth.5297



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