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Int J STD AIDS. 1991 Mar-Apr;2(2):119-23.

Syphilis and human immunodeficiency virus seroconversion during a 6-month follow-up of female prostitutes in Mogadishu, Somalia.

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Department of Pathology and Morphology, Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, Somali National University, Mogadishu.


A total of 155 prostitutes inhabiting 4 different districts in Mogadishu, Somalia, were enrolled in a 6 month prospective study of syphilis and HIV infection. Blood samples were taken on entry, at 3 months and at 6 months. Differences were seen between the prostitutes in the 4 districts regarding possible risk factors for the acquisition of STDs. Initially 107 (69%) were found to have syphilis serum markers and 47% had active syphilis as judged by positivity in both Treponema Pallidum Haemagglutination (TPHA) test and non-treponemal (VDRL and RPR) tests. TPHA positivity was correlated to the number of sexual partners. Sixty-nine prostitutes were followed for 6 months. Two of the 16 initially TPHA negative women seroconverted for syphilis during the follow-up. HIV antibodies were detected in one (0.6%) of the 155 prostitutes at the start of the study and one out of 68 seroconverted during the 6 months follow-up. To control the spread of HIV infection health education targeting the risk groups like prostitutes must be given a high priority.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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