Article

An outreach programme for sexually transmitted infection screening in street sex workers using self-administered samples

Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, Carlton, Australia.
International Journal of STD & AIDS (Impact Factor: 1.04). 12/1999; 10(11):741-3. DOI: 10.1258/0956462991913286
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Street sex workers represent an at-risk group of individuals who find it difficult to access mainstream health services. This was a cross-sectional study of street sex workers in Melbourne, Australia using a self-administered method to detect chlamydial, gonorrhoea and trichomonas infections. Of the 81 individuals approached, 63 (78%) (95% CI: 67-86%) agreed to participate. Overall, 87% of the participants obtained their results. Of the 63 participants, 53 (84%) had a past history of injecting drug use (95% CI: 73-92%), and 21 (33%) had a history of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) (95% CI: 22.0-46.3%). Neisseria gonorrhoeae was identified in 7 (11%) participants, Trichomonas vaginalis in 7 (11%), Chlamydia trachomatis in 1 (1.6%). None of the 19 (30%) participants who had been screened for an STI in the preceding 3 months were infected. Our results demonstrated that this method of testing for STIs was acceptable to the street sex workers, and demonstrated a disturbingly high proportion with infections.

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    • "Notably a comparable number of sex workers solicit on the streets of Melbourne (Morton 1999) where street sex work is illegal and the potential client base is smaller. This suggests that the law has little effect on the presence of street prostitution. "
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