Background Female sex workers (FSWs) in Bangladesh remain at elevated risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) although the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence among them is low. Recent information on the burden and etiological diagnosis of STIs among them has been lacking. This study examines prevalence and risk behaviors of selected STIs among FSWs in Dhaka in 2014. Methods Between August and October 2014, a cross-sectional study was conducted among street-based and residence-based FSWs receiving HIV prevention services at 24 drop in centers in Dhaka. Participants underwent behavioral interview, clinical examination, and laboratory testing for selected STIs using cervical swabs and blood. Results The sample consisted of 371 streets and 329 residence FSWs. Prevalence of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and active syphilis were 5.1%, 4.6%, 1.3% in street FSWs and were 5.8%, 8.2%, and 0.6% for residence FSWs which are lower compared with the previously reported rates. The following factors were associated with having any STI: being ≤5 years in sex trade (odds ratio, 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-3.9; P < 0.01), and having a cervical discharge (odds ratio, 2.6, 95% confidence interval, 1.5-4.6; P < 0.01). Resistance to cefixime and azithromycin was observed for 1 and 3 Neisseria gonorrhoeae strains, respectively. Conclusions Despite receiving HIV/STI prevention services, bacterial STIs remain prevalent among FSWs suggesting the need for more effective management of STIs. The guidelines for management of STIs need revision in view of the emerging resistance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases