Background: In Iran, there is limited evidence on the prevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) among females who engage in illegal sexual behavior.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV infections and their associated factors in this population in Isfahan-Iran.
Patients and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 100 females who engaged in illegal sexual behavior during 2009-2010 in Isfahan were recruited from welfare to the DIC for women, and referrals were made among those who knew others who engaged in prostitution. Markers for HBV and HCV-Ab were measured by ELISA, and recombinant immunoblot assay was used for confirmation of HCV infection. Also, a questionnaire on demographics and prostitution-associated risk data in a face-to-face interview was completed for each participant. Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression models were used for data analysis.
Results: Of the 100 samples collected, 91 were sufficient for testing. The mean age and time spent in sex work were 30.84 ± 9.34 years and 36 ± 28.5 months, respectively. HBsAg was detected in 1 (1.1%), anti-HBc in 4 (4.4%), anti-HBs in 60 (65.9%), and HCV Ab in 9 (9.9%) subjects. The evidence of vaccination was seen in 54 subjects (59.3%). There were no significant differences in the prevalence of HBV or HCV infection by estimated risk factors, and there was no independent risk factor for these infections.
Conclusions: The high prevalence of HCV infection in this study indicates the need to implement preventive interventions for female sex workers and, perhaps more importantly, to involve their male clients.
- Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
Understanding the High risk behaviors among related populations can help policy makers to prevent HBV/HCV infection and decrease load of these diseases in each community.
- Please cite this paper as:
Kassaian N, Ataei B, Yaran M, Babak A, Shoaei P. Hepatitis B and C among women with illegal social behavior in Isfahan, Iran: Seroprevalence and associated factors. Hepat Mon. 2011;11(5):368-371.
2011 Kowsar M.P.Co. All rights reserved.
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