Few interventions have targeted clients of female sex workers in Central America, despite their potential role in HIV/STI prevention. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 30 clients of female sex workers on attitudes towards prevention of HIV/STIs, barriers to condom use and behaviour towards HIV/STI testing and treatment in Escuintla, Guatemala. Despite high knowledge of condoms as an HIV/STI preventive measure, the decision to use them was often based on the client's social judgment of the woman's sexual conduct. Regular clients reported lower condom use. Clients' risk perception diminished with the awareness of the public HIV/STI clinic addressed to female sex workers. Most preferred private clinics to increase confidentiality and were reluctant to take the HIV test for fear of a positive result. Outreach programmes offering HIV/STI counselling and testing to clients of female sex workers could increase their test uptake and health-seeking behaviour and reduce potential transmission to the general population. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
- risk behaviours
- sex worker clients
- sexually transmitted infection