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Medical News

Seroprevalence of and Risk Factors for HIV-1 Infection Among Female Commercial Sex Workers in South America

September 1, 2006

The authors conducted the current study to assess HIV prevalence and associated risk behaviors among female commercial sex workers (FCSW) across major cities in nine countries in South America from 1999-2002. They performed seroepidemiological, cross-sectional studies of 13,600 FCSW, recruiting participants in brothels, massage parlors, hotels, and streets. They collected anonymous questionnaires and blood samples; ELISA and western blot tests were used to determine HIV infection.

The investigators found that overall HIV seroprevalence was 1.2 percent (range 0.0-4.5 percent). The highest HIV seroprevalences were in Argentina (4.5 percent) and Paraguay (2.6 percent). No HIV infected FCSW were found in Venezuela and Chile. The researchers found that consistent predictors of HIV seropositivity were a previous history of sexually transmitted infections (STI)(AORs = 3.8-8.3), and 10 years or more in commercial sex work (AORs = 2.2-24.8). Additionally, they found that multiple (3 or more) sexual contacts (AOR = 5.0), sex with foreigners (AOR = 6.9), use of illegal drugs (AOR = 3.2), and marijuana use (AOR = 8.2) were associated with HIV seropositivity in Southern Cone countries.

"Consistently low HIV seroprevalences were detected among FCSW in South America, particularly in the Andean region," the authors concluded. "Predictors of HIV infection across the continent were STI and length of commercial sex work; however, use of illegal drugs, especially marijuana, and sexual contacts with foreigners were also found to be associated risk factors in the Southern Cone region. Interventions for the control of HIV and other STI need to be region and country specific; drug use appears to have an ever increasing role in the spread of HIV among heterosexually active populations."

Back to other news for September 1, 2006

Adapted from:
Sexually Transmitted Infections
08.08.2006; Vol. 82: P. 311-316; C.T. Bautista; J.L. Sanchez; S.M. Montano; A. Laguna-Torres; L. Suarez; J. Sanchez; P. Campos; C. Gallardo; C. Mosquera; M. Villafane; N. Aguayo; M.M. Avila; M. Weissenbacher; E. Ramirez; R. Child; M. Serra; C. Aponte; A. Mejia; N. Velazques; A. Gia

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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