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International News

Australia: Prostitutes Unaware of STD Dangers -- Study

June 27, 2006

According to an Australian study of foreign sex workers, most prostitutes are not aware they can contract STDs through oral sex. The study, which will be presented to the International Association for Dental Research meeting June 28-July 1 in Brisbane, found that sex workers knew the dangers of vaginal sex but not oral sex.

Dr. Raj Nair of Griffith University, lead researcher of the study, said the survey of 140 Hong Kong prostitutes had "alarming" results. Only half of Chinese, Thai, and Filipino women surveyed in the city's red-light district, Wanchai, knew they could contract gonorrhea, syphilis, and other STDs through oral sex.

Nair said there had been few studies on awareness levels among Australian sex workers, but international trends indicated a general ignorance in the region. According to Maria McMahon, from the Australian sex-workers' group Scarlet Alliance, "Knowledge among sex workers here is likely to be better than what you might find in a country like Hong Kong but, more importantly, it's very likely to be better than what you might find in the general public as a whole."

Back to other news for June 27, 2006

Adapted from:
Australian Associated Press
06.22.06; Tamara McLean

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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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