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We examined HIV frequency and probable risk factors among female sex workers in the port city of Imbituba, Southern Brazil. From December through February , 90 female sex workers were interviewed in order to investigate demographic, socioeconomic and behavioral variables related to HIV infection. A blood sample of each woman was also collected to test for HIV antibodies. Six 6. The HIV infection rate in these sex workers was higher than that in the general population and similar to that found in other studies made with Brazilian populations presenting the same characteristics.
This highlights the need for preventative measures, especially in this port area, in order to reduce transmission and to deter the introduction and dissemination of HIV. Sexually-transmitted diseases STDs , including AIDS, are a serious public health problem, due to the great number of notifications, the increasing proliferation of the illness, and the social and economic impact on the afflicted countries [1,2]. AIDS has spread worldwide as an STD, and it is currently prevalent among heterosexuals ; it is a threat to female sex workers since they are at great risk both for contracting and disseminating HIV .
The large number of sexual partners, together with the difficulty in negotiating safe sex with the use of condoms, and the difficulty of adhesion to prevention measures, make this group of women more vulnerable to HIV infection .
Female sex workers are generally more vulnerable to STDs, and they contribute to the growth of the HIV epidemic [6,7]. We chose the port city of Imbituba, in the state of Santa Catarina, in Southern Brazil, since no epidemiological HIV inquiry had been performed so far in this region.
Our objective was to provide relevant data for the planning of interventions and for the implementation of new preventive actions in public health. From December through February , with the help of a non-governmental organization called the Industry of Solidarity ISO , we contacted female sex workers in the port area of Imbituba, Santa Catarina.