HIV and STI prevalence among female sex workers in Cote d'Ivoire: why targeted prevention programs should be continued and strengthened

Bea Vuylsteke, G Semdé, L Sika, Tania Crucitti, VE Traoré, Anne Buvé, Marie Laga

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OBJECTIVE: To assess condom use and prevalence of STIs and HIV among female sex workers (FSWs), as part of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan of a nationwide sex worker prevention project in Cote d'Ivoire. 
DESIGN AND METHODS: Cross sectional surveys were conducted among FSWs attending five project clinics in Abidjan and San Pedro (2007), and in Yamoussoukro and Gagnoa (2009). A standardized questionnaire was administered in a face-to-face interview, which included questions on socio-demographic characteristics, sexual behaviour and condom use. After the interview, the participants were asked to provide samples for STI and HIV testing. 
RESULTS: A total of 1110 FSWs participated in the surveys. There were large differences in socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics between FSW coming for the first time as compared to FSW coming on a routine visit. The prevalence of N. gonorrhoeae or C.trachomatis was 9.1%, 11.8% among first vs. 6.9% routine attendees (p = 0.004). The overall HIV prevalence was 26.6%, it was lower among first time attendees (17.5% as compared to 33.9% for routine attendees, p<0.001). The HIV prevalence among first attendees was also lower than the proportion of HIV positive tests from routine testing and counselling services in the same clinics. 
CONCLUSIONS: The results show a relatively high STI and HIV prevalence among FSWs in different cities in Cote d'Ivoire. In the light of these results, prevention efforts should continue to focus on FSWs in the country.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere32627
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • B780-tropical-medicine
  • Viral diseases
  • HIV
  • AIDS
  • Sexually transmitted diseases
  • STD
  • Chlamydia
  • Chlamydia trachomatis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Prevention programs
  • Assessment
  • Monitoring
  • Prevalence
  • Condom use
  • Prostitutes
  • Women
  • Interviews
  • Sociodemographic aspects
  • Risk behavior
  • Sexual behavior
  • Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT)
  • VCT
  • C“te d'Ivoire
  • Africa-West


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