Sexual Practices, Drug Use Behaviors, and Prevalence of HIV, Syphilis, Hepatitis B and C, and HTLV-1/2 in Immigrant and Non-immigrant Female Sex Workers in Argentina
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Objective To study socio-demographics, sexual practices, drug use behaviors, and prevalences of HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 in immigrant (foreigner) and non-immigrant (local/native) female sex workers (FSW). Design This was a cross-sectional study in immigrant and non-immigrant FSW living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Participants were interviewed using a standardized questionnaire. Results A total of 625 FSW were enrolled, of whom 169 (27%) were immigrant FSW from Paraguay, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Peru, and Uruguay. The prevalence of syphilis and hepatitis C was significantly higher among Argentinean FSW than among immigrant FSW. However, hepatitis B prevalence was higher among immigrant FSW. Adjusted risk factor analysis comparing immigrant FSW with Argentinean FSW indicated that marital status (single), occupation (none), fee per sex act (≤US$7), workplace (bar and cabaret), and anal sex with clients were significantly associated with immigrant FSW status. Conclusions Effective HIV/STI prevention and medical care programs need to be tailored to the specific needs of both FSW groups in Argentina.
KeywordsImmigrant Migration Risk Behavior Sex worker HIV STI Argentina
Special thanks to all study participants for their collaboration in this study, and to the many staff and scientists at the HIV/AIDS control program and at the “Asociación of Mujeres Meretrices” in Argentina, as well as to Sebastian A. for his technical assitance.
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