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: 1.05). 12/1999; 10(11):741-3. DOI: 10.1258/0956462991913286
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Sepehr Tabrizi
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    • "Although cervicitis has been reported in Peruvian FSW, detailed data regarding the prevalence, etiologies and risk factors for cervicitis in FSW working in Peru or other Latin American countries is lacking [4,11]. As FSW may receive only intermittent healthcare and advanced diagnostics in low resource settings are limited, cervicitis in FSW, when diagnosed, is most often treated syndromically [12]. Syndromic management has drawbacks such as the underdiagnosis of subclinical STI and a potential overuse of antimicrobials [13]. "
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · BMC Infectious Diseases
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    • "Twelve papers were identified that estimated chlamydia prevalence in potentially high-risk populations [18,38,44,60,78,89,92-97] ( Additional file 5). Five measured chlamydia prevalence in sex workers (legal and illegal) [38,44,92-94], four in individuals in prison or juvenile detention [18,78,95,96], two in drug users [60,97], and one in STI contacts [89]. Participation rates, where reported, were high (49–87%), and sample sizes varied from 86 [78] to 1766 [93]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chlamydia trachomatis is a common sexually transmitted infection in Australia. This report aims to measure the burden of chlamydia infection by systematically reviewing reports on prevalence in Australian populations. Electronic databases and conference websites were searched from 1997-2011 using the terms 'Chlamydia trachomatis' OR 'chlamydia' AND 'prevalence' OR 'epidemiology' AND 'Australia'. Reference lists were checked and researchers contacted for additional literature. Studies were categorised by setting and participants, and meta-analysis conducted to determine pooled prevalence estimates for each category. Seventy-six studies met the inclusion criteria for the review. There was a high level of heterogeneity between studies; however, there was a trend towards higher chlamydia prevalence in younger populations, Indigenous Australians, and those attending sexual health centres. In community or general practice settings, pooled prevalence for women <25 years in studies conducted post-2005 was 5.0% (95% CI: 3.1, 6.9; five studies), and for men <30 years over the entire review period was 3.9% (95% CI: 2.7, 5.1; six studies). For young Australians aged <25 years attending sexual health, family planning or youth clinics, estimated prevalence was 6.2% (95% CI: 5.1, 7.4; 10 studies) for women and 10.2% (95% CI: 9.5, 10.9; five studies) for men. Other key findings include pooled prevalence estimates of 22.1% (95% CI: 19.0, 25.3; three studies) for Indigenous women <25 years, 14.6% (95% CI: 11.5, 17.8; three studies) for Indigenous men <25 years, and 5.6% (95% CI: 4.8, 6.3; 11 studies) for rectal infection in men who have sex with men. Several studies failed to report basic demographic details such as sex and age, and were therefore excluded from the analysis. Chlamydia trachomatis infections are a significant health burden in Australia; however, accurate estimation of chlamydia prevalence in Australian sub-populations is limited by heterogeneity within surveyed populations, and variations in sampling methodologies and data reporting. There is a need for more large, population-based studies and prospective cohort studies to compliment mandatory notification data.
    Full-text · Article · May 2012 · BMC Infectious Diseases
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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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    ABSTRACT: To determine the health and welfare status of female and transgender street sex workers and their work-related experiences. Also to estimate population numbers, determine work locations, and identify the most appropriate education, health and welfare services for this group. Forty-eight street sex workers completed a questionnaire, mainly at their place of work. Demographic and sexual health profiles of sex workers attending the Sydney Sexual Health Centre and the Kirketon Road Centre in 1997 were compared with the street sample. Up to 120 female and transgender sex workers worked on the streets in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and surrounding areas in any one night: more than 80% of these were female. Of those sampled, fewer street workers than brothel sex workers (6% vs. 41%; p<0.001) were from non-English speaking backgrounds, and more (77% vs. 7%; p<0.0001) were currently injecting drugs. The street workers reported lower rates of condom use at work than local brothel workers (91.7% vs. 98.8%; p<0.016) and high rates of hepatitis B and C infection. Seventy-five per cent had experienced violence at work. Child care, lack of supportive relationships, community intolerance and low self-esteem were important problems for the street workers. While the police were frequently required by the community to move the street workers on, there were no reports of corrupt behaviour by police. Health services need to specifically target this group with particular attention to the prevention of blood-borne virus infections, contraception, drug dependency and transgender issues. Consideration should be given to developing a network of safe houses to reduce community pressure and violence.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2001 · Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
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