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The objectives of this study were to describe a population of sex workers considering their sociodemographic characteristics, gyneco-obstetric history and behavioral factors, and to verify the association of these characteristics with the presence of sexually transmitted diseases.
This epidemiological cross-sectional study was performed with female sex workers. Data were collected using structured interviews and gold-standard exams for diagnosis of the diseases of interest. The women's mean age was Most of them had attended school for nine years or more, were single and reported becoming sexually active before 15 years of age.
Performing oral sex on partners was cited by No association was observed between sociodemographic factors, gyneco-obstetric history or behavioral factors and sexually transmitted diseases, which may have been due to their educational status and the fact that the population had very similar characteristics, thus making it difficult to determine such associations. MSc in Nursing. City Health Department of Botucatu. Botucatu, SP, Brazil.
II Medical Biologist. III Nutritionist. IV Biologist. V Biologist. VI RN. Descriptors: Sex workers; Sexually transmitted diseases; Women's health; Epidemiology; Public health nursing. In diverse contexts of the world and, in a particularly relevant way, in developing countries, Sexually Transmitted Diseases STD are one of the main determinants of disease burden in populations. Knowledge and attitudes toward STDs are relevant for the entire population. Sex workers SW , however, present the unique characteristic of having intercourse a large number of times per day, with an increased risk resulting from the use of chemical substances and potential vaginal micro trauma and disturbances of the vaginal ecosystem 3.
Therefore, these workers compose a population vulnerable to STDs not only because of the intense sexual practices of its members, but also because those members experience a range of health and social problems that seem to influence the adoption of risk behavior 4. The study reports the following dilemmas in the profession: discrimination, emotional pressure related to the need to cover up the practice of prostitution, and violence perpetrated by both clients and the police 5.