Background The purpose of this study was to examine prevalence of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as well as related risk factors among a group of male clients of low-paying female sex workers (FSW) (eg, women who usually encounter their clients on the street or small establishments in rural or less developed areas, or who charge low fees for each sexual service) in a rural county of China.
Method Cross-sectional study conducted in 2011 in a rural county of Guangxi in China. A total of 102 clients who reported information on demographics and HIV risks (eg, inconsistent condom use) and provided blood sample to test for HIV, HCV and syphilis were included in the data analysis. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were employed to explore risk factors of HIV, HCV and syphilis infection.
Results Most of participants were of Han ethnicity with a mean age of 61.8 years. The majority of them lived in rural areas and worked as farmers with limited disposable cash incomes. The sample reported a high rate of unprotected sex with FSW in the last sex episode (83.7%) and inconsistent condom use in the last 6 months (95.9%). The overall prevalence of HIV, HCV and syphilis was 1.9%, 1.0% and 18.4%, respectively.
Conclusions Findings suggest that male clients, especially the elderly ones, are at a high risk of HIV infection given prevalent unprotected sex and high prevalence of syphilis. Culturally-appropriate, age-specific interventions are urgently needed to curb the HIV/sexually transmitted infection epidemic among this at-risk population in China.
- EPIDEMIOLOGY (GENERAL)
- HEPATITIS C
- SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR