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I Faculdade de Enfermagem. Fortaleza, CE, Brasil. Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul. Campo Grande, MS, Brasil. To estimate the prevalence of hepatitis B virus and C virus infections and their genotypes and analyze the risk factors for the markers of exposure to hepatitis B virus in female sex workers in a region of intense sex trade. Data have been collected using the Respondent-Driven Sampling. The women have been interviewed and tested for markers of hepatitis B and C viruses.
Positive samples have been genotyped. The adjusted prevalence for hepatitis B virus and C virus were We can observe a low prevalence of infection of hepatitis B and C viruses in the studied population. However, the findings of the analysis of the risk factors show the need for more investment in prevention programs for sexual and drug-related behavior, as well as more efforts to vaccinate this population against hepatitis B.
The genotypes of the hepatitis B virus and C virus identified are consistent with those circulating in Brazil. Approximately million persons are infected with hepatitis B virus HBV or hepatitis C virus HCV worldwide, which cause acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.
These infections result in one million deaths annually a. These viruses are transmitted through parenteral and sexual contact a , though the role of sexual transmission in HCV infection remains unclear In addition to having multiple partners, many female sex workers FSW are also illicit drug users. Hepatitis B may be prevented by vaccination, but not hepatitis C a. In Brazil, hepatitis B vaccination has been offered for free for children and adolescents, as well as risk populations, for over 15 years In the country, the practice of prostitution in itself is not illegal, but the activities that sustain this practice are considered as criminal acts 6.
This means approximately half a million of FSW at high risk to transmit and acquire sexually transmitted infections b. Data on the extent of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections are still scarce and those that exist use convenience sampling that do not represent the population as a whole 23 , 30 , 39 , Respondent-driven sampling RDS is a network-based method for sampling hard-to-reach populations such as drug users that produces asymptotically unbiased population estimates This method has been used mainly in HIV biological and behavioral surveys among illicit drug users, men who have sex with men, and sex workers The FSW were defined as women who exchange sexual services for money.