A five-city trial of a behavioural intervention to reduce sexually transmitted disease/HIV risk among sex workers in China

Keming Rou, Zunyou Wu, Sheena G. Sullivan, Fan Li, Jihui Guan, Chen Xu, Wei Liu, Dahua Liu, Yueping Yin

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65 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: To explore and evaluate a sexually transmitted disease (STD)/HIV intervention program targeting female sex workers working in entertainment establishments in five different settings in China. DESIGN AND METHOD: A prospective, community-based, pre/post, intervention trial set in entertainment establishments (karaoke bars, massage parlours, dance halls, beauty parlours) where sex workers operate at sites in five provinces of China: Anhui, Beijing, Fujian, Guangxi and Xinjiang. The participants were all sex workers working in targeted entertainment establishments. A Women's Health Clinic was set up near participants' places of work at each site. Clinic-based outreach activities, including awareness-raising, condom promotion, and sexual health care, were developed and delivered to sex workers. Cross-sectional surveys at baseline and post-intervention were used to evaluate changes in condom use with the last three clients, and the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhoea. RESULTS: In total, 907 sex workers were surveyed at baseline and 782 at 12 months post-intervention. Outreach teams made 2552 visits to the target entertainment establishments, approached 13 785 female sex workers, and distributed 33 575 copies of education material and 5102 packets of condoms. The rate of condom use with the most recent three clients increased from 55.2% at baseline to 67.5% at 12 months evaluation. The prevalence of gonorrhoea fell from 26% at baseline to 4% after intervention, and that of chlamydia fell from about 41 to 26%. CONCLUSION: The intervention was effective for increasing condom use and reducing STD among sex workers. The results were used to develop national guidelines on sex worker interventions for nationwide scale up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S95-S101
Number of pages7
Issue numberSUPPL. 8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioural interventions
  • China
  • HIV
  • Prevention of sexual transmission
  • Sex workers

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