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Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2013;49(2):183-9.DOI: 10.4415/ANN_13_02_10.

Sexual behaviours of clients of sex workers reported within phone calls at HIV/AIDS/STIs Italian Helpline.

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Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive, Parassitarie ed Immunomediate, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.



Clients of sex workers represent a relevant target for interventions aimed at the prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Within prevention strategies, the AIDS and sexually transmitted infections helpline (Telefono Verde AIDS/ IST, TVA-IST) of National Institute of Health in Italy has provided, since 1987, specific information and counselling interventions.


The present study reports data on anagraphical characteristics and behaviours of clients of sex workers, anonymously reported at TVA-IST in the period 1987-2010.


Among 95 149 phone calls (14% of the total) considered 99.5% came from males, over 80% aged under 37 years and prevalently from Northern Italy. Among sexual behaviours, unprotected sexual intercourses were reported in the 26% of the calls. Subjects under 27 years reported a higher frequency of unprotected anal intercourse, while they used protection with oral and vaginal intercourses in a greater extent than older ones. Due to differential behaviours within clients of sex workers, specific informative strategies for this targeted population should adequately consider age-related differences.

DOI: 10.4415/ANN_13_02_10
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