AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 2588–2596 | Cite as

Determinants of HIV Infection Among Female Sex Workers in Two Cities in the Republic of Moldova: The Role of Injection Drug Use and Sexual Risk

  • Lev Zohrabyan
  • Lisa Grazina Johnston
  • Otilia Scutelniciuc
  • Alexandrina Iovita
  • Lilia Todirascu
  • Tatiana Costin
  • Valeriu Plesca
  • Tatiana Cotelnic-Harea
  • Gabriela Ionascu
Original Paper


In 2009–2010, females who reported having vaginal, anal or oral sex in exchange for money in the previous year, ≥16 years, and living in either Chisinau (n = 299) or Balti (n = 359), Moldova, were recruited into a respondent driven sampling survey. One fifth reported ever injecting drugs and over 30 % ever had sexual intercourse with men who inject drugs. In both cities, condom use with permanent and casual partners was much lower than condom use with commercial partners. In Chisinau, 6.9 % and in Balti, 24.7 % tested positive for HIV; 18 and 23.7 % had antibodies to hepatitis C; 9.1 and 8.9 % had antibodies to HBV; and, 8.4 and 6.1 % tested positive for syphilis. HIV seropositive FSW in either city were more likely to have ever injected drugs and to be infected with HCV. Limited government initiative and drastic reductions in international funding will likely impact urgently needed HIV prevention and harm reduction services targeting FSW in Moldova.


Female sex workers Injection drug use HIV/AIDS Hepatitis Moldova 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lev Zohrabyan
    • 1
  • Lisa Grazina Johnston
    • 2
    • 3
    • 7
  • Otilia Scutelniciuc
    • 4
  • Alexandrina Iovita
    • 5
  • Lilia Todirascu
    • 6
  • Tatiana Costin
    • 6
  • Valeriu Plesca
    • 6
  • Tatiana Cotelnic-Harea
    • 6
  • Gabriela Ionascu
    • 5
  1. 1.UNAIDS Regional Support TeamMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Global Health SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA
  3. 3.Tulane University of International Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA
  4. 4.UNAIDS Monitoring and Evaluation Adviser for Central AsiaAlmatyKazakhstan
  5. 5.UNAIDS Country OfficeChisinauRepublic of Moldova
  6. 6.National Center for Health ManagementChisinauRepublic of Moldova
  7. 7.AmsterdamThe Netherlands

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