HIV prevalence and behavioral studies in female sex workers in Togo: a decline in the prevalence between 2005 and 2011

  • P Pitché
  • K Gbetoglo
  • B Saka
  • S Akakpo
  • DE Landoh
  • S d’Alméida
  • AK Banla
  • D Sodji
  • K Deku
Keywords: Sex workers, HIV, sexual behavior, Togo


Introduction: We determined the sero-prevalence of HIV among female sex workers (FSWs) in Togo identified their sexual risk behaviors.

Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study from 17 to 27 December, 2011 on 1106 FSWs in Togo. Venous sample were collected to estimate HIV prevalence as per national algorithms. Behavior data were collected by interviewer-administered questionnaires.

Results: Of the 1106 FSWs (mean age = 27.6 years) surveyed, 17% and 63% had their first sexual intercourse before the age of 15 and 18 years respectively. Overall, 43.4% of the FSWs had more than seven clients per week. Most FSWs (95%) said they had sex using a condom in their lifetime while 8.8% had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse. About 79% of FSWs used a condom during their sexual encounters the previous week and 11.6% had used a condom during each of their sexual encounters the previous day. Most FSWs (62.2%) reported to have been tested for HIV. Of these, 145 (13.1%) were HIV positive. HIV sero-prevalence decreased from 19.4% in the south to 7.5% in the north of the country. Behaviors associated with FSW being HIV positive included: FSW having more than 7 clients per week (p<0.001), not using condoms at every intercourse act (p=0.003) or during the last sexual encounter (p=0.006) and trading sex in brothels (p<0.001).

Conclusion: We estimate HIV sero-prevalence among FSWs in 2011 to be 13.1% in Togo, significantly lower than a prevalence of 29.5% estimated previously in 2005. Inconsistent use of condoms was identified as associated with high risk factor for acquiring HIV.

Key words: Sex workers, HIV, sexual behavior, Togo


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eISSN: 1937-8688