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To determine the incidence of HIV-1 infection, temporal trends in incidence, and risk factors for seroconversion in a cohort of female commercial sex workers (CSW) in upper northern Thailand, the region of Thailand with the highest rates of HIV-1 infection.CSW were enrolled from 1991 through 1994 and evaluated prospectively with interviews, physical examination, testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and serologic testing for HIV-1 infection.The incidence of HIV-1 seroconversion in the first year of follow-up was 20.3 per 100 person-years among 126 brothel-based CSW and 0.7 per 100 person-years among 159 other CSW who worked in other venues such as bars or massage parlors. Incidence remained elevated among brothel-based CSW who were enrolled later in the study compared with those who enrolled earlier. Through 1996, 30 women seroconverted. In a multivariable proportional hazards model, seroconversion was significantly associated (P < 0.05) with brothel-based sex work (adjusted risk ratio, 7.3) and Chlamydia trachomatis cervical infection (adjusted risk ratio, 3.3).Despite national HIV control efforts and declining rates of infection among young men in Thailand, brothel-based CSW may continue to be at high risk for HIV-1 infection. Additional efforts are needed to provide alternative economic choices for young women, to ensure universal condom use during commercial sex, and to develop new prevention technologies.