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Integrated bio-behavioural HIV surveillance surveys among female sex workers in Sudan, 2011–2012
  1. Magda Elhadi1,
  2. Abdulateef Elbadawi1,
  3. Samira Abdelrahman1,
  4. Ibtisam Mohammed1,
  5. Ivana Bozicevic2,
  6. Ehab A Hassan3,
  7. Mohammed Elmukhtar1,
  8. Sally Ahmed4,
  9. Mohammed Sidahmed Abdelraheem5,
  10. Nazik Mubarak1,
  11. Salwa Elsanousi1,
  12. Hamidreza Setayesh6,7
  1. 1Faculty of Medicine, Gezira University, Wad Madani, Gezira State, Sudan
  2. 2World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for HIV Surveillance, University of Zagreb School of Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia
  3. 3Sudan National AIDS Control Program, Federal Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan
  4. 4Sudan Country Office, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Office, Khartoum, Sudan
  5. 5World Health Organization Country Office, Khartoum, Sudan
  6. 6Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Country Office, Khartoum, Sudan
  7. 7Iranian Institute for Medical Law, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
  1. Correspondence to Professor Magda Elhadi Ahmed, Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Gezira, P.O. Box 20 Wad Madani, Gezira State, Sudan; magihia5{at}


Objectives To assess HIV and syphilis prevalence, HIV-related behaviours and testing for HIV in female sex workers (FSW) in Sudan.

Design Bio-behavioural surveys using respondent-driven sampling were carried out among FSW in the capital cities of 14 states in Sudan in 2011–2012. HIV and syphilis testing was done by rapid tests.

Results 4220 FSW aged 15–49 years were recruited. The median age of recruited women varied from 21 to 28 years per site. The highest HIV prevalence was measured at two sites in the eastern zone (5.0% and 7.7%), while in the other zones it ranged from 0% to 1.5%. Syphilis prevalence ranged from 1.5% in the northern zone to 8.9% in the eastern zone. Ever having been tested for HIV was reported by 4.4%–23.9% of FSW across all sites. Condom use at last sex with a client varied from 4.7% to 55.1%, while consistent condom use with clients in the month preceding the surveys was reported by 0.7%–24.5% of FSW. The highest reporting of ever injecting drugs was measured at a site in the western zone (5.0%).

Conclusions The surveys’ findings indicate that the highest burden of HIV in FSW is in the eastern states of the country. Condom use and HIV testing data demonstrate the need for HIV interventions that should focus on HIV testing and risk reduction strategies that include stronger condom promotion programmes in FSW and their clients.

  • Aids
  • Prostitution
  • Africa
  • Hiv Testing
  • Condoms

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