Gonorrhea in Street Prostitutes: Epidemiologic and Legal Implications

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Sociodemographic characteristics of a group of street prostitutes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, were determined through retrospective chart review and compared with those of a group of nonprostitutc women seen at a venereal disease clinic. Initially, the risk that prostitutes would contract gonorrhea was substantially higher than the risk for other women (31% vs. 21%), but the risks for both groups decreased over the two-year period during which control measures were applied. These measures included use of legal orders, based on the constitutional requirement of “least restrictive alternative.” Prostitutes in this setting may well constitute a “core group” of transmitters.

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