2005, Number 01
Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and associated risk factors among female commercial sex workers in Cuautla, Morelos
Baltazar RMC, Rivera RL, Cruz VA, Hernández GCA
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ABSTRACTObjective: To determine the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STI) among female commercial sex workers in Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico.
Material and methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 1998, in the red-light district of Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico. It included 100 female commercial sex workers who labored permanently in bars and night clubs. Data were collected using two questionnaires, one on socio-demographic characteristics, and the other on commercial sex, risk perception, and knowledge on preventive measures and contagion of sexually transmitted diseases/ AIDS. Blood and cervicovaginal specimens were also collected to assess the prevalence of sexually transmitted and reproductive system infections (RSI). Outcome variables were STI (syphilis and chlamydiasis) and RSI (vaginosis and candidiasis).
Results: Sexually transmitted prevalence was of 11%, reproductive system infections prevalence was of 39%. When candidiasis was included in the sexually transmitted infections group, prevalence was of 31%. The main factors associated with sexually transmitted infections were: who instructed on condom use, time having intercourse with partner, and years of commercial sex work. Factors related to reproductive system infections were: illiteracy, use of condom with partner, who instructed on condom use, and years of commercial sex work. Multivariate analysis showed an increased likelihood of acquiring a sexually transmitted infection and/or reproductive system infection with illiteracy, instruction on condom use by a person other than a healthcare worker, and lack of condom use.
Conclusions: Regular use of condoms during intercourse is the most important preventive measure to avoid and control STI and RSI. Study findings pinpoint spatial and temporal factors that contribute to infection. Intervention measures directed at these factors should strengthen preventive and educational programs to improve medical care for these infections.