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Socio-demographic And Behavioural Factors Associated With High Incidence Of Sexually Transmitted Infections In Female Sex Workers In Madagascar Following Presumptive Therapy.

F. Behets, K. Van Damme, A. Rasamindrakotroka, M. Hobbs, K. McClamroch, J. R. Rasolofomanana, L. Raharimalala, G. Dallabetta, J. Andriamiadana
Published 2005 · Medicine

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BACKGROUND Too little is known about the many women who generate income in Madagascar by trading sex. METHODS Clinical and laboratory exams were offered to 493 non-care seeking female sex workers (SWs) in Antananarivo and 493 in Tamatave. SWs were recruited by peers in their community; they were interviewed, counselled and treated for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at recruitment and re-evaluated 2 months later. RESULTS One hundred and eighty six (38%) of the SWs in Antananarivo and 113 (23%) in Tamatave did not complete primary school (P < 0.0001). The incidence rates per person per month in Antananarivo and Tamatave, respectively, were 0.09 and 0.08 for gonorrhoea; 0.05 and 0.03 for chlamydia; 0.24 and 0.15 for trichomoniasis; 0.07 and 0.05 for syphilis. At follow-up, consistent condom use with clients was reported by 56 (12%) SWs in Antananarivo and 137 (29%) in Tamatave (P < 0.0001); 320 (70%) SWs in Antananarivo and 11 (2%) in Tamatave reported sex with a non-paying partner in the past month (P < 0.0001). In Antananarivo, 422 (92%) of the SWs thought they were at no or low risk of having an STI compared to 100 (21%) in Tamatave (P = 0.02). At follow-up, 277 (61%) SWs reported no birth control for their last sex act in Antananarivo, compared to 26 (5%) in Tamatave (P < 0.0001). Socio-demographic and behavioural risk factors for incident gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis varied by city. CONCLUSIONS Strategies to address the needs of women who trade sex should include educational and economic opportunities; should tackle male partners of SWs; promote dual protection against unintended pregnancy and STIs, while taking into account local socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics.
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