Objective: To determine the absolute, and proportional prevalence of dual seroreactivity to HIV-1, and HIV-2 in female sex workers in Abidjan, to determine risk determinants for this serologic profile, and to describe the associated clinical, and immunological characteristics.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Confidential clinic for female sex workers in Abidjan.
Participants: Female sex workers.
Main outcome measures: HIV serostatus, CD4+ counts, women with AIDS, behavioural, and sociodemographic characteristics.
Results: Among 1209 women tested, the overall HIV seroprevalence was 80%, while the prevalence of dual seroreactivity was 30%. Dual seroreactivity accounted for 38% of all HIV infections. Compared with women reacting to HIV-1 only, dually seroreactive women were significantly more likely to have been in sex work for a longer period, to be aged >=20 years, and to charge less money for intercourse. No difference in mean CD4+ count was noted between women with dual seroreactivity (561+/-106/l), and HIV-1 -seropositive women (588 +/- 106/l).
Conclusions: Female sex workers in Abidjan had the highest absolute (30%), and proportional rate (38%) of dual seroreactivity yet described in any population. Increased sexual exposure is associated with an increased risk of dual seroreactivity. Although better molecular diagnostic techniques are required, a substantial proportion of female sex workers in Abidjan is likely to be infected with both HIV-1, and HIV-2.
(C) Lippincott-Raven Publishers.