Crystal methamphetamine use and its correlates in women engaged in sex work in a developing country setting

Mostafa Shokoohi, Mohammad Karamouzian, Hamid Sharifi, Afarin Rahimi-Movaghar, Adam W. Carrico, Samira Hosseini Hooshyar, Ali Mirzazadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Worldwide, crystal methamphetamine (CM) use and associated high-risk sexual behaviors are a concern, but they are less studied among female sex workers (FSW) in developing countries. This study aimed to characterize the prevalence and individual, interpersonal, and structural correlates of self-reported past-month CM use among FSW in Iran. Methods: FSW aged ≥ 18 years who reported penetrative sex with more than one client in the last year were recruited (analytic sample: 1295). Data were collected in one-on-one interviews using a standardized behavioral questionnaire. Poisson regression model was used to assess the correlated of past-month self-reported CM use by crude and adjusted prevalence ratio (APR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Non-injecting and injecting CM use was reported by 15.0% (95% CI: 8.7, 24.7) and 0.9% (95% CI: 0.4, 2.1) of participants. CM use was positively associated with concurrent use of opioids (APR from 2.08 to 3.84, P-value < 0.01), higher number of sexual partners (APR: 2.05, P-value: 0.018), housing instability (APR: 3.54, P-value: 0.001), and history of forced sex (APR: 1.47, P-value: 0.050). Conclusions: A considerable number of FSWs use CM along with opioids, have a higher number of sexual partners, forced sex, and housing instability. Both prevention strategies as well as strategies to reduce harm associated with CM need to be added to current programs that predominantly focus on opioid dependency and male drug injectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Female sex worker
  • Harm reduction
  • Iran
  • Methamphetamine
  • Stimulants
  • Surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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