Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 99–104 | Cite as

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

  • Christian T. BautistaEmail author
  • Maria A. Pando
  • Elena Reynaga
  • Ruben Marone
  • Warren B. Sateren
  • Silvia M. Montano
  • Jose L. Sanchez
  • Maria M. Avila
Original Research


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.


Immigrant 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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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian T. Bautista
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Maria A. Pando
    • 3
    • 4
  • Elena Reynaga
    • 5
  • Ruben Marone
    • 6
  • Warren B. Sateren
    • 1
  • Silvia M. Montano
    • 2
  • Jose L. Sanchez
    • 2
    • 7
    • 8
  • Maria M. Avila
    • 3
    • 9
  1. 1.US Military HIV Research Program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of ResearchRockvilleUSA
  2. 2.US Naval Medical Research Center DetachmentLimaPeru
  3. 3.Centro Nacional de Referencia para el SIDA, Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de MedicinaUniversidad de Buenos AiresBuenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Institute of Human VirologyUniversity of Maryland Biotechnology InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Asociación de Mujeres Meretrices de ArgentinaBuenos AiresArgentina
  6. 6.NEXOAsociación CivilBuenos AiresArgentina
  7. 7.Department of Defense Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response SystemWalter Reed Army Institute of ResearchSilver SpringUSA
  8. 8.Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement Military Medicine, IncRockvilleUSA
  9. 9.CONICETBuenos AiresArgentina

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