Background Cisgender female sex workers (CFSWs) have elevated rates of sexually transmitted infections (STI) yet are underrepresented in targeted programming and research in the United States. We examined the prevalence, incidence and predictors of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas infection among CFSW. Methods Two hundred fifty street-based CFSWs were recruited into a prospective observational cohort in Baltimore, Maryland using targeted sampling in 2016 to 2017 and completed surveys and STI testing at baseline, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to model the predictors of STI. Results Mean age was 36 years, and 66.5% of respondents were white. Baseline prevalence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomonas was 10.5%, 12.6%, and 48.5%, respectively. The incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas was 14.3, 19.3, 69.1 per 100 person-years. Over one year of observation, past year sex work initiation predicted both chlamydia incidence (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-6.0) and gonorrhea incidence (aHR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0-2.8). Client sexual violence predicted gonorrhea incidence (aHR, 2.9; 95% CI, 1.2-7.1) and having female sexual partners predicted trichomonas incidence (aHR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.3-8.5). Having a usual health care provider (aHR, 0.6; 95% CI, 0.5-0.7) was inversely associated with trichomonas. Conclusions In this study of urban US street-based CFSW, interpersonal and structural factors differentially predicted STIs, and infection rates remained elevated through follow-up despite regular testing, notification, and treatment referral. Focused and multifaceted interventions for sex workers and their sexual partners are urgently needed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Conflicts of Interest and Sources of Funding: This work was supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01DA038499-01) and Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research (1P30AI094189). J.N.P. is supported by a Faculty Development Grant from the Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research. C.A.G. was supported by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (U54007958) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (U01068613). S.T.A. is supported by the National Institutes of Health (K01DA046234). The funders had no role in study design, data collection, or in analysis and interpretation of the results, and this paper does not necessarily reflect views or opinions of the funders. S.G.S. is an expert witness for plaintiffs in opioid litigation.
© Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases