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Prevalence of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among clients of female sex workers in Karnataka, India: a cross-sectional study

Background:

Studies have demonstrated the significance of commercial sex work in the ongoing transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in India. Clients of female sex workers (FSWs) are thought to be an important bridging population for HIV/STIs. However, there is a lack of information on basic characteristics of sex work clients. This study sought to describe the prevalence of HIV and other STIs, as well as examine the determinants of these pathogens among a sample of clients in south India.

Methods:

Data were from a cross-sectional biological and behavioural survey of FSW clients from six districts in Karnataka State, India. The prevalence of HIV, syphilis, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), chlamydia (CT) and gonorrhoea (NG) among clients was examined. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to analyse the socio-demographic, sexual behaviour and sex-work related characteristics related to the prevalence of each pathogen. Sampling weights and appropriate survey methods were utilized in regression models to account for complex sampling design.

Results:

The total sample size was 2,745. The average age of clients was 30.4 (SE:0.3). Across the total sample, the prevalence of HIV, HSV-2, syphilis and CT/NG was 5.6%, 28.4%, 3.6% and 2.2%, respectively…Examining co-infections, clients with HSV-2 infections were at substantially higher risk of being HIV-positive (AOR: 10.4; 95%CI: 6.1-17.7, p

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