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

Cherry Cai, JG Tan, L Chen, Jan hendrik Richardus, Sake de Vlas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

ObjectiveTo investigate prevalence and risk factors of syphilis infection among female sex workers (FSWs) in Shenzhen, China. MethodsObservational 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. ResultsThe overall syphilis prevalence was 4.7%, showing a slightly decreasing trend. Factors significantly associated with syphilis infection were inconsistent condom use (OR=1.87, P=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). ConclusionsSyphilis 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1538
Number of pages8
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Volume18
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research programs

  • EMC NIHES-02-65-01

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