XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Sexual behavior and HIV prevalence in female commercial sex workers (CSW) in four cities of Colombia (Medellín, Cali, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga)

M.L. Rubio Mendoza1, C. Sierra1, R. Luque Núñez2, N. Calderón3, J. Pacheco4

1United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA., Bogotá, Colombia, 2Ministry of Social Protection, Bogotá, Colombia, 3Liga Colombiana de Lucha contra el SIDA, Bogotá, Comoros, 4Liga Colombiana de Lucha contra el SIDA, Bogotá, Colombia

Background: The second generation surveillance in countries with concentrated epidemics helps to establish the prevalence and vulnerability factors in specific populations.
Methods: This cross sectional prevalence study used the Time Location Sampling adjusted methodology, with a sample of 418 female sex workers for each one of the 4 cities involved in the study, this linked to a behavioral survey with HIV presumptive and confirmatory tests. Previous informed consent to participate in the research as well as for VCT for HIV test was performed for each one of the CSW. Women with an HIV positive result were remitted for health assistance to public or private health services.
Results: Prevalences among the CSW were: Barranquilla 4.5%; Bucaramanga 3.8%; Cali 1.67% and Medellín 1.19%. More than 80% of them knew condoms help to prevent HIV. Nearly 95% used a condom with her last client. Only 15% to 40% have accurate knowledge about forms of transmission. Use of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine are related with their regular work and IV drug use was found in 1% of the contestants. Between 20% and 30% have had access to HIV test and its results. There is a low proportion of CSW (12%-35%) exposed to preventive interventions. Condom use decreases with regular partners (< 50%). The average price of condoms for them is US$0.60. Nearly 30% of the interviewed women have suffered some kind of violence (going from verbal abuse to sexual arrestment). Finally, less than 7% of the CSW belong to a group or social network in their communities.
Conclusions: Different conditions of vulnerability could be revealed from the study; i. e., use of condoms is lower in women in street working condition, compared with their mates working at premises. The results of this study are being used to guide the programmatic actions in CSW in Colombia

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