High STD rate in brothel based sex workers: potential for HIV spread

This decade old study documents the first systematic assessment of a brothel
in Bangladesh in terms of sexually transmitted disease (STD) and human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Two hundred and ninety-six CSWs were selected from a brothel with a
population of 593 women.  All blood samples for HIV testing were made anonymous by removing patient identifiers before testing.

Endocervical specimens were tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the
diagnosis of genital chlamydia and gonorrhoea. Syphilis and HIV infections were
diagnosed by serology.

A high prevalence of STDs and low prevalence of HIV in the CSWs in Bangladesh
suggest potential for the rapid spread of HIV once it is introduced in this high-risk
population. The opportunity to control STD and HIV infection in this population
should not be missed, in order to prevent a large epidemic in the future.



Sarkar, S., Islam, N., Durandin, F., Siddiqui, N., Panda, S., Jana, S., Corbitt, G., Klapper, P., and Mandal, D., (1998), Low HIV and high STD among commercial sex workers in a brothel in Bangladesh: scope for prevention of larger epidemic, International Journal of STD & AIDS 1998, 9 (1), 45-47

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