The primary objectives of this study were to assess the changing demographic characteristics of female sex workers (FSWs) in the urban Bangalore district, India, and trends in programme coverage, HIV/sexually transmitted infection prevalence rates and condom use. Cross-sectional, integrated behavioural and biological assessments of FSWs were conducted in 2006, 2009 and 2011. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to describe trends over time. The results indicate the mean age of initiation into sex work has increased (26.9 years in 2006 vs 27.6 years in 2011, p<0.01), a higher proportion of FSWs reported being in ‘stable’ relationships in 2011 (70.2% vs 43.2% in 2006, p<0.01) and having conducted sex work outside the district in the past 6 months (10.0% in 2011 vs 16.0% in 2006 p=0.01). There was an increase in the proportion of FSWs using cellphones to solicit clients (4.4% in 2006 vs 57.5% in 2011, p<0.01) and their homes for sex work (61.4% in 2006 vs 77.8% in 2011, p<0.01). Reactive syphilis prevalence declined (12.6% in 2006 to 4% in 2011, p=0.02), as did high-titre syphilis prevalence (9.5% in 2006 to 2.5% in 2011, p=0.01). HIV prevalence declined but not significantly (12.7% in 2006 and 9.3% in 2011, p=0.39). Condom use remained above 90% increasing significantly among repeat (paying) clients (66.6% in 2006 to 93.6% in 2011, p<0.01). However, condom use remained low with non-paying partners when compared with occasional paying partners (17.6% vs 97.2% in 2011, p<0.01). Given the changing dynamics in the FSW population at multiple levels, there is a need to develop and customise strategies to meet local needs.
- COMMERCIAL SEX
- EPIDEMIOLOGY (GENERAL)
- PROGRAMME SCIENCE
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