Introduction The HIV epidemic is concentrated in large urban centres, with higher prevalence in most vulnerable populations.
Methods Cross-sectional study aimed to characterise the female sex workers living with HIV, considering the sociodemographic and behavioural aspects. Conducted from January 2014 to February 2015 were recruited 417 female sex workers, using the Respondent Driven Sampling method (RDS). All were interviewed and tested using the rapid test for HIV. The study complied with the ethical aspects.
Results The age ranged from 23 to 47 years. In relation to schooling, four (33.3%) reported being illiterate, only 1 (8.3%) had completed high school. The monthly income ranged 1–2 wages equivalent to US$ 252.5. Regarding marital status claim to be single, nine (75%) reported having an affective stable partner out of prostitution and six (50%) reported having paid fixed partnership in prostitution. About skin colour seven (58.3%) consider themselves black; two (16.6%) brown; three (25%) white. Regarding the search for health service five women mark consultation near their homes; two look for the community health worker and five did not seek the health service. Regarding the use of condoms, it is not always used with a regular partner. Of all participants, 12 (2.9%) were positive for anti-HIV, a prevalence seven times higher than that estimated for women in general in the country.
Conclusion A high HIV prevalence suggest the need to increase access of this population to health services, increase the testing offer to HIV and raise awareness of condom use in sexual relations independent of the type of sexual partnership.
Disclosure of interest statement The above authors declare that they do not have any potential conflict of interest in this study.