|Cheryl Overs, Monash University. © IAS/Steve Shapiro - Commercialimage.net|
Researchers have found that female sex workers have 14 times the risk of having HIV compared to other women.
They looked at prevalence data from 50 countries and found that, compared to women of the same age, female sex workers were 14 times more likely to be infected with HIV.
But this is only a partial picture of the epidemic. There was no information on HIV prevalence in female sex workers for some countries with serious epidemics.
Researchers believe that their findings underline the importance of prevention initiatives targeted at sex workers. They calculated that these would not only protect the health of sex workers, but also cut HIV transmission rates by up to one third.