Environmental-structural interventions to reduce HIV/STI risk among female sex workers in the Dominican Republic

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Article (peer-reviewed)

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Objectives: We assessed the effectiveness of 2 environmental-structural interventions in reducing risks of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers in the Dominican Republic. Methods: Two intervention models were implemented over a 1-year period: community solidarity in Santo Domingo and solidarity combined with government policy in Puerto Plata. Both were evaluated via preintervention-postintervention cross-sectional behavioral surveys, STI testing and participant observations, and serial cross-sectional STI screenings. Results: Significant increases in condom use with new clients (75.3%-93.8%; odds ratio [OR] = 4.21; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.55, 11.43) were documented in Santo Domingo. In Puerto Plata, significant increases in condom use with regular partners (13.0%-28.8%; OR = 2.97;95% CI = 1.33, 6.66) and reductions in STI prevalence (28.8%-16.3%; OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.32, 0.78) were documented, as were significant increases in sex workers' verbal rejections of unsafe sex (50.0%-79.4%; OR = 3.86; 95% CI = 1.96, 7.58) and participating sex establishments' ability to achieve the goal of no STIs in routine monthly screenings of sex workers (OR = 1.17; 95% CI = 1.12, 1.22). Conclusions: Interventions that combine community solidarity and government policy show positive initial effects on HIV and STI risk reduction among female sex workers.






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