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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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Cervicitis is a syndrome of cervical inflammation and a common condition in female sex workers (FSW), a subpopulation vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections. Local data is essential for guiding syndromic management of cervicitis in FSW working in Peru. We sought to describe the prevalence and etiologies of cervicitis in this population. We also aimed to identify sociodemographic, behavioral and biological factors associated with cervicitis, including bacterial vaginosis (BV), a condition with a possible role in cervicitis. METHODS: FSW 18 years of age or older presenting to a free public sexual health clinic in Callao-Lima, Peru were eligible for inclusion upon consent. 467 participants completed a face-to-face questionnaire and underwent genital examination. Vaginal, endocervical and blood samples were collected and tested for C. trachomatis (CT), N. gonorrhea (GC), T. vaginalis (TV), BV, HIV and Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus -1. Logistic regression was used to determine whether sociodemographic, behavioral, or other sexual health related characteristics were associated with the diagnosis of cervicitis. RESULTS: Cervicitis was detected in 99 (24.9%) of 397 FSW. The presence of cervicitis was unable to be determined in 70 participants. In women with cervicitis, CT was present in 4.6% (4/87), TV in 4.0% (4/99), GC in 0% (0/87) and no pathogen was detected on cervical microbiology in 91.9% (91/99). BV was detected on vaginal microbiology in 36.9% (31/84) of cervicitis cases. BV was more common in women with cervicitis, however this association did not reach statistical significance (aOR = 1.47 [0.87, 2.48], p = 0.15). Other STI were not associated with cervicitis. Regular clinic attendance (aOR = 0.54 [0.34, 0.87], p = 0.01) and Ecuadorian nationality (aOR = 0.31 [0.13, 0.76], p = 0.01) were associated with reduced risk of cervicitis. CONCLUSIONS: Cervicitis was common in FSW working Peru and was predominantly nongonococcal and non-chlamydial in etiology. Further study is warranted to clarify the role of BV and other emerging cervicitis pathogens in this population. The current Peruvian program of free health checks for FSW may be effective for reducing rates of cervicitis. The protective effect of Ecuadorian nationality prompts further study.
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    ABSTRACT: This paper analyses developments and debates regarding legal and human rights issues relevant to the Australian HIV response in the context of treatment as prevention (TasP). A refocusing of prevention priorities on individual responsibilities to 'test and treat' without regard to the legal and human rights context is, we argue, problematic. The paper maintains that the justification of testing and treating for the greater good risks eroding the foundations of a human rights-based approach to HIV prevention, and that the TasP agenda as presently conceived may divert attention from pressing law reform issues relating to sex work, illicit drug use, and criminalization of HIV transmission.
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