XVIII International AIDS Conference

Abstract

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Elimination of congenital syphilis and reduction of the incidence of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: an intervention for female sex workers

M. Sanchez Escalante1, J. Duque Rodriguez2, L. Castellanos3, A. Guzman2, S. Rice4

1Secretaria de Salud del Estado de Chihuahua, Department of HIV/AIDS and Sexually transmitted diseases in Juarez city, Chihuahua, Mex., Juarez City, Mexico, 2Secretaria de Salud del Estado de Chihuahua, Department of HIV/AIDS and Sexually transmitted diseases in Juarez city, Chihuahua, Mex., Chihuahua, Mexico, 3Pan American Health Organization /World Health Organization - PAHO/WHO., Epidemiology, El Paso, United States, 4Texas Department of State Health Services, USA, Epidemiology, El Paso, United States

Background: STDs represent a serious problem of public health in Mexico, especially in the U.S.-Mexico Border Region, where sex workers do not have access to health services, sex industry is not regulated and there is no protective legislation against primping.
Objective: To eliminate congenital syphilis and prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) through a comprehensive approach including the prevention of specific risk factors.
Methods: Between September 2008 and may of 2009 an integrated strategy was conducted on the streets and work places of sex workers in order to reduce acquired and congenital syphilis. In this context, health education, free and voluntary access to diagnosis and treatment were offered to sex workers.
Results: 1023 women were attended, 39 (12%) resulted positive for syphilis, which is higher than the Mexican mean value for commercial sex workers (10%). 56 women were already pregnant at the time of the intervention. 9 (16%) from these workers resulted positive for syphilis. 574 sex workers (56%) reported they do not negotiate condom use and 515 (more than 50%) were drug users.
Conclusions:
1. Active surveillance and early detection are critical to interrupt transmissions and eliminate congenital syphilis.
2. Ensuring health services for commercial sex workers is crucial to achieve health equity.


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