What is it about?

In general, female sex workers (FSWs) are more likely to be reservoirs of disease and have an increased potential for the dissemination of sexually transmitted pathogens to their partners and clients, contributing to epidemics. In northern Brazil, epidemiological studies of HBV infection in sex workers are scarce. Given this, the present study evaluated the prevalence and genotyping of HBV in FSWs from the Marajó Archipelago and the occurrence of co-infections with hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D virus (HDV), HIV, and HTLV.

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Why is it important?

This study identified a high number of exposure (13.7%) to HBV among female sex workers (FSWs) in the coastal area of the Brazilian Amazon. Genotype A (69.2%) was predominant among FSWs infected with HBV. In addition, several cases of occult HBV infection and viral co-infections (HCV, HDV, HIV and HTLV-2) were detected. These findings indicate a clear need to control the spread of HBV and other pathogens, and to promote the health of the local FSWs.

Perspectives

The inclusion of these women in federal vaccination programs and other initiatives in the area of women's health, including periodic gynecological exams and tests for STIs, the provision of condoms, and other measures that promote self-care, will help minimize the impacts on the health of this vulnerable group, as well as the general population

Ph.D. Aldemir B. Oliveira-Filho
Universidade Federal do Para

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This page is a summary of: Prevalence and genotyping of hepatitis B virus: a cross-sectional study conducted with female sex workers in the Marajó Archipelago, Brazil, International Journal of STD & AIDS, June 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0956462419849252.
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