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Role of core and bridging groups in the transmission dynamics of HIV and STIs in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa
  1. C M Lowndes1,2,
  2. M Alary1,
  3. H Meda3,
  4. C A B Gnintoungbé3,
  5. L Mukenge-Tshibaka4,
  6. C Adjovi5,
  7. A Buvé6,
  8. L Morison7,
  9. M Laourou8,
  10. L Kanhonou9,
  11. S Anagonou5
  1. 1Groupe de recherche en épidémiologie de l'Université Laval, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement du CHA, Québec, Canada
  2. 2Department Social Science and Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK
  3. 3Project SIDA 2-Bénin, Cotonou, Bénin
  4. 4Dispensaire MST, Centre de Santé de Circonscription Urbaine Cotonou 1, Bénin
  5. 5Programme national de lutte contre le Sida et les MST (PNLS) du Bénin
  6. 6STD/HIV Intervention Unit, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
  7. 7Infectious Disease Epidemiology Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1, UK
  8. 8Institut National de Statistiques et d'Analyses Economiques, Bénin
  9. 9Centre de recherche en reproduction humaine et en demographie (CERRHUD), Benin
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Catherine Lowndes, Department of Social Science and Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, Charing Cross Campus, Reynolds Building, St Dunstan's Road, London W6 8RP, UK;


The potential for exposure of low and high risk women to HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) through unprotected sex with male clients of female sex workers in Cotonou could account for most if not all of the estimated yearly numbers of HIV infections in Cotonou women (∼1000). As ongoing transmission of HIV, and also of the most predominant STIs such as gonorrhoea and HSV-2, appears to be largely fuelled by transmission within core and bridging groups in Cotonou, interventions targeted at both female sex workers and their male clients remain of the utmost importance and could have a significant effect on the evolution of HIV/STI epidemics in Benin.

  • sexually transmitted disease
  • HIV
  • Benin

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