The Development of an HIV Risk Environment Scale of Exotic Dance Clubs

Susan G. Sherman, Meredith R. Brantley, Carla Zelaya, Quyen Duong, Ralph B. Taylor, Jon M. Ellen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Exotic dancers have received little research attention despite evidence of high-risk behaviours within exotic dance clubs (EDCs). We developed and assessed the reliability and validity of a risk environment score, examining differences between dancers (n = 107) and other staff (n = 172). In the summer of 2013, anonymous surveys were administered via A-CASI in EDCs (N = 26) in Baltimore among exotic dancers and staff. Surveys consisted of a brief demographic section followed by 65 statements. The overall domain had an alpha = 0.77 and subdomains had the following: social (alpha = 0.87), economic (alpha = 0.92), drug (alpha = 0.89), and policy (alpha = 0.66). In a factor analysis, each domain contributed significantly to the overall latent construct. The results indicate a high level of HIV/STI risk for dancers in EDCs and underscore the need for targeted interventions in these environments. As we continue to unpack the function of the broader environment in STI/HIV risk transmission, the scale could be instructive for other settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2147-2155
Number of pages9
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Exotic dance clubs
  • HIV risk environment
  • Strippers
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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