Objective: To assess socio-demographic and behavioural characteristics of clients of female sex workers in Abidjan, and to determine their HIV prevalence and related risk factors.
Design: A cross-sectional study among clients of female sex workers in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
Methods: A trained interviewer approached clients leaving the room of a female sex worker and invited them for an interview using a structured questionnaire, and to provide a saliva sample. Saliva was tested for HIV antibodies by the GACELISA assay (Murex, Dartford, UK).
Results: A total of 526 clients agreed to participate, and 423 (80.4%) provided a saliva sample. Reported condom use was very high, 92.7% said they always use condoms and 95.4% reported condom use during the visit preceding the interview. The overall HIV prevalence among the clients who provided a saliva sample was 13.4%. Older age and being married or cohabitating was significantly associated with HIV infection in multivariate analysis.
Conclusions: HIV prevalence appears to be relatively low, and condom use is high among clients of female sex workers in Abidjan. Existing HIV prevention efforts among female sex workers and among the general population should be sustained and reinforced.
From the aInstitute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, bProjet RETRO-CI, the cInstitut National de Santé Publique, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and the dCenters for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA.
Correspondence to B. Vuylsteke, 01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01, Côte d'Ivoire.
Received: 17 April 2002; revised: 24 January 2003; accepted: 11 February 2003.