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date: 20 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines prostitution as a socioeconomic phenomenon and discusses its contribution to the spread of sexually transmitted infections. Using online network data from Internet-mediated prostitution in Brazil, it looks at the connectedness of individuals on a review website where clients record intimate details about encounters with sex workers. It begins with an overview of networks, including human sexual networks, along with network properties and measures and the dynamics and structure of a sexual network. It describes general models of disease spreading and introduces a specific methodology for temporal networks, where the infection coevolves with network structure. The chapter shows that the structure of the sexual network is highly clustered within cities but that minimal connections exist across cities. It also finds evidence for local bridges between cities: individual clients who frequent prostitutes nationally. Male tourists play important roles in a potential epidemic by linking otherwise distinct communities.

Keywords: prostitution, sexually transmitted infections, Internet, sex workers, sexual networks, disease spreading, prostitutes, male tourists, epidemic, Brazil

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