Year: 2013 Source: Sexuality and Disability.(2013).31(3):275-286. DOI:10.1007/s11195-013-9305-9 SIEC No: 20130806

This study investigated suicidal behavior prevalence and its association with physical and sexual health, and behavior-related factors among female sex workers in South Korea. Using time location sampling, we recruited 1,083 sex workers for an interviewer-administered questionnaire regarding sexual behavior, sociodemographics, and self-rated health (SRH) status. Participants were also tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). We used binary logistic regression analysis to define suicide attempt factors. Around 28 % of sex workers in the sample reported that they had attempted suicide in the past year. Suicide attempts were independently associated with drinking alcohol almost every day, not using condom regularly, STD infection experience, and unfavorable SRH status. Higher suicide attempt likelihood was associated with poor sexual and physical health, but there was no significant association with the number of customers per week. We thus need to revive STD screening programs provided by the government and to support mental health programs.