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Where do sex workers go for health care? A community based study in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
  1. B Vuylsteke1,
  2. P D Ghys1,3,
  3. G Mah-bi2,
  4. Y Konan2,
  5. M Traoré2,
  6. S Z Wiktor3,4,
  7. M Laga1
  1. 1Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium
  2. 2Institut National de Santé Publique, Côte d'Ivoire
  3. 3Projet RETRO-CI, Côte d'Ivoire
  4. 4Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA
  1. Bea Vuylsteke, projet RETRO-CI bbv1{at}


Objectives: To describe health seeking behaviour of female sex workers in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.

Methods: A population based survey among a representative sample of 500 female sex workers and six focus group discussions.

Results: The sites of first encounter for care for the last STI episode included a public hospital or health centre (28%), a private clinic (16%), a confidential clinic (13%), a pharmacy (13%), and the informal sector (23%). The agreement between preferred and actual services used was weak (kappa 0.16).

Conclusions: Sex workers expressed interest in seeking STI care in a wide range of public and private healthcare facilities. Those services should be upgraded to better respond to their sexual health needs.

  • sex workers
  • health care
  • Africa
  • Côte d'Ivoire

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