Prevalence and risk factors of syphilis infection among female sex workers in Shenzhen, China: an observational study (2009–2012)

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To investigate prevalence and risk factors of syphilis infection among female sex workers (FSWs) in Shenzhen, China.

Observational study among (2009–2012) 1653 FSWs recruited by venue‐based sampling using questionnaire‐based interviews for socio‐demographics, behaviours and syphilis testing results. Logistic regression was used to assess risk factors of syphilis infection.

The overall syphilis prevalence was 4.7%, showing a slightly decreasing trend. Factors significantly associated with syphilis infection were inconsistent condom use (OR = 1.87, = 0.015), illicit drug use (OR = 5.45, P < 0.001) and older age in years (OR = 1.08, P < 0.001). Venues where FSWs were recruited and duration of commercial sex work were not significantly associated with syphilis infection (P > 0.05).

Syphilis is still common among FSWs in Shenzhen, China. Current comprehensive prevention programmes (e.g. condom promotion and peer education) should be continued to maintain and increase safe sexual practices and to reduce illicit drug use among FSWs. Expanding point‐of‐care syphilis screening programmes may be an important strategy for early diagnosis. We recommend timely and effective treatment programmes to be linked to such screening programmes.

Language: French

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2013

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