HIV antibody seroprevalence and associated risk factors in sex workers, drug users, and prisoners in Sindh, Pakistan

Shehla Baqi, Naheed Nabi, Syed N. Hasan, Amir J. Khan, Omrana Pasha, Naila Kayani, Rehan A. Haque, Inaam Ul Haq, Mohammad Khurshid, Susan Fisher-Hoch, Stephen P. Luby, Joseph B. McCormick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine prevalence of HIV infection and risk behaviors in commercial sex workers (CSWs), drug users, and prisoners in Sindh, Pakistan. Methods: A medical clinic was established in a 'red-light' district of Karachi. Eighty-one CSWs who registered at the clinic between November 1993 and June 1994 were provided HIV counseling and testing and administered a risk factor questionnaire. Next, 316 male drug users were tested for HIV-1 antibody from April to July 1994. Finally, a voluntary serosurvey of HIV-1 and HIV-2 and risk behaviors of 3525 prisoners in Sindh was conducted between July 1994 and December 1994. Abbott Recombinant HIV third-generation enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmatory testing with Western blot analysis were used in all three groups. Results: None of 81 CSWs tested for HIV-1 antibody were positive. None of 316 drug users tested positive for HIV- 1 antibody. Of 3441 male prisoners, 1 was HIV-1 infected, and of 84 female prisoners, 1 was HIV-1 infected. No prisoner was positive for HIV-2 antibody. Discussion: The prevalence of HIV in CSWs, drug users, and prisoners in Sindh is low at present. Intervention programs implemented at this stage can make an impact in HIV prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-79
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Asia
  • Drug users
  • HIV-1
  • HIV-2
  • Pakistan
  • Prisons
  • Prostitutes
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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