Induced abortion, contraceptive use, and dual protection among female sex workers in Moscow, Russia

Document Type

Article (peer-reviewed)

Publication Date



Objective: To describe abortion history and current contraceptive use among female sex workers (FSWs) in Moscow, Russia. Methods: A clinic-based survey was conducted among 147 FSWs in Moscow during an 8-month period in 2005. Results: In total, 83 of 143 (58.0%) FSWs reported a history of abortion, with 45 of 143 (31.5%) indicating multiple abortions. Condoms were the primary form of contraception (145/146 [99.3%]); just 17 of 142 (12.0%) FSWs reported using non-barrier modern contraception. All women who reported using a non-barrier modern method also indicated condom use (i.e. dual protection). Non-barrier contraceptive use was associated with inconsistent condom use (odds ratio [OR] 3.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.07–9.02) and multiple abortions (OR 4.71; 95% CI, 1.19–18.62). Conclusion: The results illustrate substantial risk for unintended pregnancy among FSWs. Further research is needed regarding the dynamics of non-barrier contraception and condom use. Efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of FSWs should include access to safe and effective contraception, in addition to HIV prevention.