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Westside Digest

Santa Monica : Study on AIDS, Prostitutes

January 17, 1991

The Santa Monica-based RAND Corp. has made a special appeal to women who work for escort and call-girl services in Los Angeles to participate in a study on the spread of acquired immune deficiency syndrome among prostitutes.

"Sex-trade workers are widely, perhaps unfairly, believed to be a key population in the spread of AIDS, but there has never been a representative survey of these women and the health risks they and their clients face," said Sandra H. Berry, the project leader. "By volunteering for confidential interviews, they can help us better determine what is actually happening locally and better describe the real risks for all parties."

Volunteers should telephone (213) 451-6910, a special private line, or call RAND in Santa Monica at (213) 393-0411 and ask for the Los Angeles Women's Health Risk Study. Callers and participants will have their anonymity protected.

RAND has already interviewed 700 randomly selected women who solicit on the street in Los Angeles County. But women working by referrals at, for example, escort services and massage parlors have been difficult to contact, RAND officials say. Results of the study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, will be available in early 1992.

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