This study to assess differences between street walking prostitutes and sauna girls who attended this clinic in 1986 and 1987 showed that fewer street walkers used barrier methods for disease prevention with clients or accepted tests for antibody to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) when offered and more street walkers practised their profession in both Sheffield and London. They therefore represent a potential pathway for the heterosexual spread of HIV to the region. Trichomonas vaginalis was the only organism more commonly isolated from street walkers. Other sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed, and the sources of acquisition of gonococcal cervicitis, were similar in both groups of prostitutes. Prostitutes rarely used barrier methods with their regular consorts, who were found to be responsible for most cases of gonorrhoea in both groups. As 11 out of 58 prostitutes attending were found to have dysplasia on routine cervical cytological examination, we suggest that all prostitutes be advised to undergo cytology yearly.
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