Linked factors to access to sexual health checkups of female sex workers in the metropolitan region of Chile

Int J Public Health. 2019 Apr;64(3):355-363. doi: 10.1007/s00038-018-1175-6. Epub 2018 Nov 27.


Objectives: To describe and compare the profile of female sex workers (FSWs) that access or do not access sexual health checkups (SHC). The research question was what are the factors linked to access to SHC for FSWs in the metropolitan region (RM) of Chile?

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the RM with FSWs over the age of 18. A sample of 370 FSWs was selected by using the time-location sampling method in closed venues and at street-level locations. A survey was applied, validated, and included clinical-epidemiological, behavioral and socio-demographic variables.

Results: 38.6% (n = 140) of FSWs that answered the question never used SHC and 37.6% (n = 84) received checkups in a specialized health center for FSWs. FSWs with no SHC were younger, prone to have more group sex, preferably with occasional or no stable partner, and did not know where to get an HIV test.

Conclusions: FSWs have had uncertain access to sexual health controls. FSWs with no SHC and young FSWs presented higher-risk behaviors.

Keywords: Behavioral profile; Chile; Female sex workers; Sexual health checkups.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chile
  • Cities / statistics & numerical data
  • Condoms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Sex Work / psychology
  • Sex Work / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Workers / psychology*
  • Sex Workers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult