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Volume 6 Supplement 3

AIDS Vaccine 2009

P06-02. High prevalences of HIV, HCV, HBV and Treponema pallidum in male and trans sex workers from Argentina


Despite the lack of information on the prevalence of HIV and other STIs among men and trans (transvestites, transsexuals and transgender) sex workers (MSW and TSW respectively) in Argentina, we found higher prevalences than expected due to the high vulnerability and degree of exposure of these populations.


MSW and TSW >18 years old were recruited during 2006–2008. After signing an informed consent, a blood sample was drawn. Anti-HIV, anti-HCV, HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-TP were determined. Participants answered a questionnaire related to sex work.


112 MSW and 170 TSW accepted to participate. Prevalences were: HIV: MSW 11.6% (preliminary analysis showed 4/8 subtype B; 4/8 BF recombinants), TSW: 35.3%(*) (11/23 subtype B, 12/23 BF recombinants); HBV: 20.0%, TSW: 36.1%(*); HCV: MSW 5.0%, TSW 3.2%, TP: MSW 19.8%, TSW 57.2%(*). *TSW showed significantly higher prevalences of HIV, HBV and TP.

Among MSW, 36.2% were infected with at least one pathogen while it rose to 80.3% among TSW. The most frequent infections were TP and HBV-TP.

Thirty-eight percent of MSW and 29.8% of TSW had a steady partner. Irregular use of condom with steady partners was reported in 73.2% of MSW and in 63.9% of TSW. Most TSW-MSW (73–82%) declared regular use of condom at work.

Use of illegal drugs (any kind) was reported by 28.4% of MSW and 38% of TSW. Among TSW a significant relationship between illegal drug use and HIV infection was found (OR = 3.3, 95%CI 1.5–7.3) even though only 4.6% of them were injecting drug users.


Compared with other high risk populations, MSW and TSW groups are rarely studied in our country. Considering the high prevalences observed and the active involvement of TSW with ATTTA (an NGO dealing with trans people) this population might be eligible as candidate participants in case a vaccine trial is planned.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Farías, M.d.R., Pando, M., Garcia, M. et al. P06-02. High prevalences of HIV, HCV, HBV and Treponema pallidum in male and trans sex workers from Argentina. Retrovirology 6 (Suppl 3), P91 (2009).

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