Objective: To investigate HIV/sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among female sex workers (FSWs) and clients in a mining region of China.
Goal: To estimate HIV/STI prevalence and to identify HIV risk factors among FSWs and miner clients.
Study Design: A cross-sectional study of 96 FSWs and 339 miner clients.
Results: In FSWs, prevalence of HIV was 8.3%, herpes simplex virus-2 70.8%, syphilis 12.5%, Neisseria gonorrhoeae 36.8%, Chlamydia trachomatis 46.3%, Trichomonas vaginalis 22.1%, and 90.6% were infected with any STI. Illegal drug use was associated with HIV [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 45.1, 95% confidence interval, 6.4–317.9] in FSWs, and 45.8% reported no condom use with the last client. In miner clients, HIV prevalence was 1.8%, herpes simplex virus-2 14.9%, syphilis 2.4%, N. gonorrhoeae 2.1%, C. trachomatis 6.5%, and 23.2% were infected with any STI. Never using condoms with FSWs and regular partners were reported in 61.2% and 84.1%, respectively. Independent risk factors for HIV in miner clients were illegal drug use (OR 190.2), symptoms of urethral discharge or frequent urination (OR 32.9), early sexual debut (OR 7.1), and visiting 4 or more FSWs in the last 12 months (OR 11.5).
Conclusions: HIV/STI prevalence is high among FSWs and moderate among clients in mining regions of Gejiu City. Drug use is the most important factor placing FSWs and miner clients at risk for HIV in Gejiu City; risky sexual characteristics such as early sexual debut, frequent visits to FSWs, and STI symptoms are also important factors for miner clients. FSWs and miner clients may constitute bridging groups for HIV to low-risk populations.