HIV, HBV, and HCV infections among drug-involved, inner-city, street sex workers in Miami, Florida
This study describes the rates of HIV, HBV, and HCV seropositivity among drug-involved, female street sex workers in low-income, inner-city sections of Miami, Florida; further, their sociodemographic characteristics, drug use, and sexual risk behaviors were assessed; and predictors of infection were reported. A sample of 586 sex workers was recruited through targeted sampling methods, interviewed, and counseled and tested for the presence of antibody to HIV, HBV, and HCV. Respondents' median age was 38 years, median time in sex work was 14 years, all were heavily involved in the use of alcohol and drugs, and 42% were homeless. More than half (51.0%) had engaged in unprotected vaginal sex in the past month. Prevalences were HIV, 22.4%; HBV, 53.4%; HCV, 29.7%. A multidimensional public health program must address not only issues related to unsafe sex, but also the problems of drug abuse, homelessness, and other lifestyle factors that contribute to risk behaviors.