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The Bali STD/AIDS Study: Human Papillomavirus Infection Among Female Sex Workers

Publication Abstract

Ford, Kathleen, B.D. Reed, D.N. Wirawan, P. Muliawan, M. Sutarga, and L. Gregoire. 2003. "The Bali STD/AIDS Study: Human Papillomavirus Infection Among Female Sex Workers." International Journal of STD & AIDS, 14(10): 681-687.

Female sex workers in low priced brothel areas in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia participated in an intervention study designed to promote condom use and sexually transmitted disease (STD)/AIDS prevention. The intervention provided educational sessions for sex workers, STD treatment for sex workers, condom distribution, and media for clients. The brothel areas were divided into high and low areas for programme effort. The high effort areas received a more intensive behavioural intervention than the low effort areas. A clinic was available for STD treatment in both areas. Behavioural surveys and STD testing were used to evaluate the programmes. About 600 were evaluated for several STDs and completed personal interviews at enrolment and at six-month intervals during the 18-month study. About 50% of women were new to the study at each round. Human papillomavirus (HPV) testing of cervical swabbed specimens, using polymerase chain reaction methodology, was performed at the beginning of the study and 18 months later. Human papillomavirus infection was initially high in these women (38.3%) and declined to 29.7% after 18 months (P<0.01). The prevalence of HPV infection declined with age (P<0.01). HPV infection was associated with a number of STD symptoms that were reported in personal interviews. These associations were stronger in the first time period. Infection with Neisseria gonorrhoeae was associated with HPV infection at baseline (P=0.03). HPV infection declined in the study area with the more intensive educational programme (P<0.01). The prevalence of HPV infection declined over time and was associated with study area and age of woman.

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