1 Cadernos de Saúde Pública 2007 Vol: 23(8):. DOI: 10.1590/S0102-311X2007000800004

HIV prevalence, AIDS knowledge, and condom use among female sex workers in Santiago, Chile

This paper describes HIV seroprevalence, knowledge of HIV transmission, and condom use among female sex workers (FSW) attending five specialized sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics in Santiago, Chile. A short questionnaire with socio-demographic, AIDS knowledge, and condom-use variables was administered to 626 FSW. HIV seroprevalence was estimated with a blood test sent to the Chilean Public Health Institute. ELISA was used to confirm HIV in suspected cases. HIV prevalence was 0%. FSW showed adequate overall knowledge of HIV, even better than reported for the Chilean general population on some items. Condom use with clients was high ("always" = 93.4%), although regular use with steady partners was low ("always" = 9.9%). The zero HIV seroprevalence and consistent condom use with clients confirms the positive impact of intervention strategies for FSW, increasing both correct knowledge of AIDS and condom use with clients and helping decrease these women's HIV/AIDS vulnerability.

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