Sex work, drug use, HIV infection, and spread of sexually transmitted infections in Moscow, Russian Federation

Lancet. 2005 Jul;366(9479):57-60. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)66828-6.


Rates of HIV-1 infection are growing rapidly, and the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections is continuing at an alarming rate, in the Russian Federation. We did a cross-sectional study of sexually transmitted infections, HIV infection, and drug use in street youth at a juvenile detention facility, adults at homeless detention centres, and women and men at a remand centre in Moscow. 160 (79%) women at the remand centre were sex workers. 91 (51%) homeless women had syphilis. At least one bacterial sexually transmitted infection was present in 97 (58%) female juvenile detainees, 120 (64%) women at the remand centre, and 133 (75%) homeless women. HIV seroprevalence was high in women at the remand centre (n=7 [4%]), adolescent male detainees (5 [3%]), and homeless women (4 [2%]). In view of the interaction between sexually transmitted infections and HIV infection, these findings of high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections show that these disenfranchised populations have the potential to make a disproportionately high contribution to the explosive growth of the HIV epidemic unless interventions targeting these groups are implemented in the Russian Federation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV-1*
  • Humans
  • Ill-Housed Persons
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moscow / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prisons*
  • Sex Work*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*