Estonia is confronted by a dramatic expansion of the initially injection drug use driven HIV epidemic. Little is known on HIV occurrence in population groups at high risk other than injection drug users.
Objective: to obtain data on the prevalence of HIV and HCV among female sex workers (FSW) in Tallinn. Design: an unlinked, anonymous, cross sectional survey of female sex workers recruited in Tallinn from October 2005 to May 2006.
Methods: FSW (N=227) were recruited for the survey and biological sample collection (HIV, HCV antibodies detection) using a combination of time-location, community and respondent driven sampling.
Results: Among 227 women the HIV and HCV prevalences were 7.6% (95% CI 4.6-12.5%) and 7.9% (95% CI 4.5-12.6%), accordingly. HIV prevalence was higher among FSW working in the street (OR=6.4; 95% CI 1.1-35.6) and at the brothels, apartments supervised by organised sex industry (OR=5.0; 95% CI 1.3-18.4). The duration of sex work was negatively associated with HIV prevalence (OR= 0.78; 95% CI 0.63-0.97).
Conclusions: Prevention needs of FSWs in this area include increasing rates of HIV-testing and putting in place effective programs that can help extend HIV prevention behaviors across a range of sexual and drug use risk behaviors.
- sex work
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