Eleven selected prostitute leaders were recruited who subsequently recruited 157 of their peers, bringing the total to 168. Sera was collected and tested for antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2 using a commercial enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA); positive cases were confirmed by Western Blot (Dupont). A direct immunofluorescent method was performed on smears from the endocervical junction. Twelve of 168 (7.1%) of the women tested were found to be HIV-1 positive; none were found positive for HIV-2. Sixty six of 168 (38.3%) were found to be Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) positive; three cases (1.8%) were found to be positive for both HIV-1 and CT. Prostitutes are a high risk group in Yaoundé for HIV and chlamydia infections. The results in this study may not reflect the seriousness of the situation given the selected population used. Similar studies still need to be carried out. Prostitutes need to be educated about AIDS, other STDs and the use of condoms to protect their clients and themselves.
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