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Baqi Shehla; Nabi, Naheed; Hasan, Syed N.; Khan, Amir J.; Pasha, Omrana; Kayani, Naila; Haque, Rehan A.; Haq, Inaam-ul; Khurshid, Mohammad; Fisher-Hoch, Susan; Luby, Stephen P.; McCormick, Joseph B.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes & Human Retrovirology: May 1st, 1998
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Objective:To determine prevalence of HIV infection and risk behaviors in commercial sex workers (CSWs), drug users, and prisoners in Sindh, Pakistan.

Methods:A medical clinic was established in a “red-light” district of Karachi. Eighty-one CSWs who registered at the clinic between November 1993 and June 1994 were provided HIV counseling and testing and administered a risk factor questionnaire. Next, 316 male drug users were tested for HIV-1 antibody from April to July 1994. Finally, a voluntary serosurvey of HIV-1 and HIV-2 and risk behaviors of 3525 prisoners in Sindh was conducted between July 1994 and December 1994. Abbott Recombinant HIV third-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and confirmatory testing with Western blot analysis were used in all three groups.

Results:None of 81 CSWs tested for HIV-1 antibody were positive. None of 316 drug users tested positive for HIV-1 antibody. Of 3441 male prisoners, 1 was HIV-1 infected, and of 84 female prisoners, 1 was HIV-1 infected. No prisoner was positive for HIV-2 antibody.

Discussion:The prevalence of HIV in CSWs, drug users, and prisoners in Sindh is low at present. Intervention programs implemented at this stage can make an impact in HIV prevention.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Shehla Baqi, 414 West Wind Estates, Kehkeshan, Clifton, Karachi, Pakistan; email: shehla@westwind.khi.sdnpk.undp.org.

Manuscript received September 18, 1997; accepted January 9, 1998.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.