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Prostitutes' clients 'enjoy risk'

MOST MEN who pay women for sex are married and hold professional or managerial posts, a detailed profile of more than 100 clients of prostitutes has shown.

The vast majority of the men said they approached prostitutes in the street in preference to saunas, advertisements or other means, because the latter reduced the 'thrill of the encounter', the International Aids Conference in Berlin was told.

The research was done by Jean Saugier and colleagues at the Department of Nursing at Manchester University, who obtained answers to questionnaires from 120 men who used prostitutes. Their ages ranged from 19 to 61 - the average was 39 - and more than 80 per cent were in full-time work. A total of 62 per cent were married.

Less than two-thirds of the men said they always used a condom during intercourse with a prostitute, and 5 per cent admitted they never did. Eight per cent reported having sex with another man during the past year. The researchers were particularly concerned about this 'hidden bisexuality', and by the need of many of the men to experience 'risk'. The danger of HIV transmission was compounded by the fact that the men claimed hardly ever to use a condom with their regular partner.