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HIV and other sexually transmitted infections among female sex workers in Moscow (Russia): prevalence and associated risk factors
  1. Adeline Bernier1,
  2. Tatiana Rumyantseva2,3,
  3. Laura Reques4,
  4. Natalia Volkova5,
  5. Yan Kyburz4,
  6. Olga Maximov2,
  7. Eve Derrienic4,
  8. Alexander Guschin3,6,
  9. Julie Bouscaillou4,
  10. Niklas Luhmann4,
  11. Dominique Pataut4
  1. 1Coalition Internationale Sida, Pantin, France
  2. 2Médecins du Monde, Moscow, Russia
  3. 3Central Research Institute of Epidemiology, Moscow, Russia
  4. 4Médecins du Monde, Paris, France
  5. 5Fund Shagui, Moscow, Russia
  6. 6Moscow Research and Practical Center for Dermato-Venerology and Cosmetology, Department of Healthcare, Moscow, Russia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Laura Reques, Medecins du Monde France, Paris, France; requeslaura{at}


To estimate the prevalence and factors associated with HIV and five other STIs among outdoor female sex workers (OSFW) and indoor FSW (IFSW).

Methods Cross-sectional survey using respondent-driven sampling methodology. Participants answered a bio-behavioural questionnaire and were tested for Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Trichomonas vaginalis (TV), syphilis (lifetime contact) and Mycoplasma genitalium (MG). Weighted HIV and other STIs prevalence and 95% CIs were calculated. Weighted multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with having at least one STI (including HIV).

Results Between October 2017 and July 2018, 385 FSW participants were recruited, among whom 206 (53.5%) were IFSW and 179 (46.5%) were OFSW. The mean age was 31.4 years. Weighted HIV prevalence was 3.1% (95% CI 1.5 to 7.0). Weighted prevalence of other STIs was: 4.1% (95% CI 2.2 to 8.0) for NG, 8.8% (95% CI 5.9 to 13.0) for CT, 12.7% (95% CI 8.6 to 18.0) for TV, 13.9% (95% CI 9.9 to 19.0) for syphilis (lifetime contact) and 14.9% (95% CI 10.5 to 21.0) for MG. STI prevalence was significantly higher among OFSW for CT, TV and MG (p<0.001). In total, 43.2% of the participants had at least one HIV/STI. Factors associated with having HIV/STI were being an OFSW (OR 3.29; 95% CI 1.72 to 6.27); being registered in another Russian region (2.61 (95% CI 1.05 to 6.48)); having never been tested for HIV (2.51 (95% CI 0.98 to 6.41)) and having a low level of knowledge regarding HIV transmission (4.88 (95% CI 0.96 to 24.78)).

Conclusion Prevalence of HIV and STIs was high among FSW in Moscow. OFSW were more vulnerable to STIs. There is an urgent need to tailor programmes for sexual and reproductive health for FSW in Russia.

  • Key-words: HIV prevalence
  • sexually transmitted infections
  • female sex workers
  • Russia

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  • Handling editor Tristan J Barber

  • Contributors AB, DP, YK, OM, ED, TR, AG, JB and NL were involved in study design and implementation. NV, OM and TR were involved in data collection and interpretation. AB and LR wrote the manuscript. All the authors revised and approved the final version of the manuscript before submission.

  • Funding This study has received funding from Médecins du Monde and the Elton John AIDSFoundation (EJAF). In addition, the Central Research institute of Epidemiology provided STI testing.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology ethical committee (protocol N.77 of the meeting of 21 September 2017) and it was conducted according to ethics principles of the Declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.