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Mongolia has undergone healthcare modifications because of political changes resulting from the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. Dramatic increases in unemployment, alcoholism, commercial sex, homelessness, and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have occurred.1 There has been rapid spread of HIV infection in neighbouring countries. Mongolia also has a high prevalence of hepatitis B.2 Although the Mongolian ministry of health is eager to perform surveillance for STIs, including viral hepatitis, resources for collection, storage, and testing of specimens are meagre. We evaluated the utility of a filter paper blood collection technique for determining rates of HIV, syphilis, and viral hepatitis B and C in this resource limited setting.3–6
The study was approved by the institutional review boards at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Mongolian ministry of health. Volunteers including commercial sex …