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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


VENEGAS, Gloria; BOGGIANO, Gioconda  and  CASTRO, Erica. Prevalence of bacterial vaginosis in Chilean sex workers. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2011, vol.30, n.1, pp.46-50. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of bacterial vaginosis (BV) in Chilean sex workers and relate the findings to sociodemographic, sexual, and clinical variables. METHODS: A sample of 379 sex workers seen in Chilean Sexual Health Monitoring and Care Units for check-ups was studied. All of them were interviewed to obtain their sociodemographic and sexual history. A clinical examination was performed that included the characteristics of vaginal discharge, pH, and amine test. A vaginal sample was taken for Gram stain. The Nugent criteria were used for the diagnosis of BV. The data was analyzed with EPI-INFO 3.4.1 and BioStat, using a degree of significance of P < 0.005. RESULTS: BV prevalence was 69.1%. The syndrome was not associated with the sociodemographic variables, age or education. BV was less common in women (married or unmarried) who lived with their partners than in single women (P < 0.001). There were no sexual variables associated with BV, whereas use of intrauterine devices was related (P < 0.0001). The presence of vaginal discharge, abnormal vaginal pH, and positive amine test were associated with infection (P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Like other studies conducted in different countries, this study observed that Chilean sex workers have a high prevalence of BV, with greater risk for women who use IUDs for birth control or women (married or unmarried) who do not live with their partners.

Keywords : Vaginosis, bacterial; sexually transmitted diseases; women's health; prostitution; Chile.

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