Objectives: To determine changes in STI/HIV prevalence in female sex workers (FSWs) following a community HIV prevention intervention project in five border provinces of Vietnam.
Methods: The project focused on providing user- friendly STI services for FSW using mobile teams operating at multiple sites depending on local client preferences. 911 FSWs were enrolled at baseline and 982 in the exit survey. Study participants were interviewed about socio-demographic characteristics, sexual behaviour, history of STIs and selected features of their husbands or co-habiting partners and tested for STIs.
Results: The overall prevalence rates of HIV, syphilis, HSV-2 antibodies, gonorrhoea (GC), chlamydia (CT), and GC and/or CT among FSWs in 5 border provinces in 2004 were 3.6%, 12.9%, 24.9%, 2.9%, 9.1% and 11.3% respectively. Compared to baseline, GC and/or CT decreased significantly from 19.9% to 11.3%, GC from 10.7% to 2.9% and CT from 11.9% to 9.1%. HIV decreased from 4.5% to 3.6%, and HSV-2 antibodies from 27.7% to 24.9%. After adjustment for possible confounders, a significant overall decrease in having GC and/or CT (Odds ratio [OR] = 0.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.33-0.65, P<0.001) and GC alone (OR= 0.22, 95% CI 0.13- 0.37, p<0.001) was found and the overall prevalence of syphilis increased significantly (OR =1.55, 95% CI 1.11- 2.17, P=0.011). A marked increase in syphilis from 1.0% to 14.1% was identified in Lai Chau province.
Conclusions: Implementation of the project was associated with a reduction in GC and/or CT infections in FSWs, more so with GC compared with CT. A marked increase in syphilis in Lai Chau was identified. HIV/STI interventions in FSWs can be implemented by government services and should be intensified and expanded to other provinces.
- Female sex workers
- HIV interventions