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Revista de salud publica del Paraguay

versión impresa ISSN 2224-6193versión On-line ISSN 2307-3349


AGUILAR, Gloria et al. Prevalence of HIV/Syphilis and risk behaviors in female sex workers in Paraguay. Rev. salud publica Parag. [online]. 2019, vol.9, n.2, pp.29-34. ISSN 2307-3349.


The HIV epidemic in Paraguay is concentrated in key population. The main route of HIV and Syphilis infections transmission is sexual. Female sex workers (FSW) have increased risk due to their sex work and risk behaviors.


To determine the HIV/Syphilis prevalence and risk behavior in the population of female sex workers in six health regions from the country during 2017.

Material and Methods:

This is a cross-sectional study. The methodology used for the selection of the sample was the TLS (time-location sampling). Rapid tests were used as initial screening of all women who entered the study and at the same time an instrument for risk behaviors was applied.


Of 643 FSW enrolled, the average age was 27 years, where 50% were between 22 and 34 years old. 88.11% (585) performed sex work in premises (brothels, saunas, massage parlors and departments) and 11.89% (58) at street. The HIV prevalence was 1.34% (95% CI 0.513.48) and 8.59% Syphilis (95% CI 5.78-12.59). Condom use in the last relationship with the client was 96.02% and 25.78% with the stable partner in the last sexual relationship. 54.17% of the FSW surveyed were considered at equal risk of acquiring HIV compared to the rest of the people.


The prevalence of HIV was low and Syphilis was high in MTS. A low percentage of condom use was observed with the stable partner, high drug use and low risk perception. It is important to consider these aspects when planning interventions in MTS: couples, drugs and low risk perception so that their efficiency can be achieved.

Palabras clave : HIV seroprevalence; Serodiagnostic of Syphilis; Risk Groups; Paraguay.

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