A behaviour sentinel surveillance for female sex workers in the Social Hygiene Service in Hong Kong (1999-2000)

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Summary:Behavioural serial sentinel surveillance survey for female sex workers (FSWs) was carried out in the Government Social Hygiene Clinics in Hong Kong during 1999 and 2000. A total of 1366 and 1451 FSWs participated in the questionnaire survey respectively. The results showed that the majority of FSWs attending the clinics were of Chinese ethnicity (83.8%, 87.6%) while Thai (13.0%, 9.4%) and Filipino (2.1%, 2.7%) were the main foreign ethnic groups. The karaoke night club was the most frequent reported workplace (32.0%, 32.6%) followed by a club (8.9%, 11.7%) and free-lancing (8.6%, 9.0%). The proportion of FSWs who always used condoms in vaginal sex with commercial sex partners was 70.9% and 75.0% respectively (P=0.038). Compared with previous results, a rising trend of condom use by FSWs in commercial sex was observed. However, there was a relatively low condom use during commercial oral sexual intercourse (30.7%, 36.6%) and sex with their regular sex partners in all forms of sexual activities. Client dislike is the main attributed factor for not wearing condoms. The point prevalence of both infectious syphilis and HIV infection was 0.1% in both years. These data are useful for planning, resource allocation and evaluation of outreach activities and STI services targeting at FSWs and their clients. They provide a sampling framework for further surveillance.

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