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Epidemiologia e Serviços de Saúde

Print version ISSN 1679-4974On-line version ISSN 2237-9622


BRAGA, Letícia Penna; SZWARCWALD, Célia Landmann  and  DAMACENA, Giseli Nogueira. Characterization of female sex workers in Brazilian state capitals, 2016. Epidemiol. Serv. Saúde [online]. 2020, vol.29, n.4, e2020111.  Epub July 24, 2020. ISSN 1679-4974.


To describe the characteristics of female sex workers (FSW) in 12 Brazilian cities.


This was a cross-sectional biological and behavioral surveillance study with FSW recruited by respondent-driven sampling (RDS) in 2016. HIV prevalence, sociodemographic, behavioral and sex work profession variables were estimated by city. The chi-square test was used to compare these distributions.


Among 4,328 FSW, HIV prevalence was 5.3% (95%CI 4.5;6.3), ranging from 0.2% (95% CI 0.0;1.2), in Campo Grande, to 18.2 (95%CI 13.2;24.7) in Salvador. In half of the cities, HIV prevalence in the samples was >5.0%, while Campo Grande, Brasília and Belo Horizonte had prevalence rates <1.0%. Significant differences between cities were found in distributions according to educational level, income, workplace, age sex work started, and illicit drug use.


The characteristics of the samples in each city were distinct and have influenced local HIV prevalence.

Keywords : HIV; Sex Work; Sampling Studies; Social Networking; Vulnerable Populations, Brazil.

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