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BACKGROUND: In Cambodian context, female entertainment workers (FEWs) are young women working at establishments such as karaoke bars, restaurants, beer gardens or massage parlors. FEWs may sell sex to male patrons and are considered a high-risk group for HIV. This study aimed to identify factors associated with recent HIV testing among FEWs in Cambodia to inform future prevention activities.

METHODS: Data were collected in 2014 as part of the evaluation of a larger HIV prevention project. A two-stage cluster sampling method was used to select participants from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap for face-to-face interviews using a structured questionnaire. A logistic regression model was constructed to identify independent factors associated with recent HIV testing.

RESULTS: Data were collected from 667 FEWs with a mean age of 25.6 (SD = 5.5). Of total, 81.7% reported ever having had an HIV test, and 52.8% had at least one test in the past six months. After adjustment for other covariates, factors independently associated with recent HIV testing included living in Phnom Penh (AOR = 2.17, 95% CI = 1.43-3.28), having received HIV education in the past six months (AOR = 3.48, 95% CI = 2.35-5.15), disagreeing with a statement that 'I would rather not know if I have HIV' (AOR = 2.15, 95% CI = 1.41-3.30), agreeing with a statement that 'getting tested for HIV helps people feel better' (AOR = 0.32, 95% CI = 0.13-0.81) and not using a condom in the last sexual intercourse with a non-commercial partner (AOR = 0.48, 95% CI = 0.26-0.88).

CONCLUSIONS: FEWs with greater knowledge and positive attitudes towards HIV testing got tested for HIV more frequently than those with lesser knowledge and less positive attitudes. These findings suggest that future interventions should focus on disseminating tailored health messages around testing practices as well as specific topics such as condom use with non-commercial partners.

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Originally published in PLoS ONE, 13(7) [Article e0198095]. The original material can be found here.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.