Kohler, P.K., Campos, P.E., Garcia, P.J., et al. International Journal of STD & AIDS (May 2015), E-publication ahead of print.
The authors analyzed the uptake of health screening and preventive behaviors among female sex workers (FSWs) in mid-sized Peruvian cities that were associated with a community randomized trial on preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV. The study interventions included mobile FSW outreach to increase condom use and care-seeking for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of STIs by FSWs. The authors conducted cross-sectional surveys among 4,156 FSW (2,063 from control and 2,093 from intervention cities) at baseline in 2002–2003, during 2005, and at the end of the intervention in 2006. Among FSWs surveyed in 2006, 4 percent in the control arm and 75 percent in the intervention arm reported receiving services from, or ever participating in activities with the mobile study outreach team. FSWs in the intervention group were more likely to report condom use with the last non-client; ever seeking an STI screening exam; ever receiving HIV testing; receiving recent HIV testing; knowledge of STIs; and awareness of female and male STI symptoms. Among intervention participants, there was also a trend towards increased frequency of recent screening exams at a public STI clinic. The authors concluded that mobile outreach and peer services can play a significant role in health promotion interventions for FSWs in Peru.