Sexually Transmitted Infections Among Brothel-Based Sex Workers in Bangladesh: High Prevalence of Asymptomatic Infection

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Objective and Goal:The goal of this study was to study the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs)/reproductive tract infections (RTIs) among brothel-based sex workers (SWs) in Bangladesh.Study:A cross-sectional study was conducted among SWs in 4 randomly selected brothels. A sociodemographic and behavioral survey and pelvic examination was conducted. Specimens including endocervical swab, high vaginal swab, and blood were collected and were examined for Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, bacterial vaginosis candidiasis, and syphilis.Results:A total of 439 SWs were enrolled and 49.6% had genital symptoms. Among all SWs, 17.5% were positive for N. gonorrhoeae; 15.5% for C. trachomatis; 7.5% for T. vaginalis, and 6.6% had active syphilis. A total of 67.4% SWs were positive for at least 1 cervical and/or vaginal infection.Conclusion:The prevalence of STIs/RTIs among SWs in brothels in Bangladesh is high. An intervention strategy addressing both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections and periodic screening of SWs for RTIs/STIs is essential for successful HIV and STIs prevention programs.

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