Vulvovaginal candidiasis in female sex workers

Int J STD AIDS. 1998 Sep;9(9):526-30. doi: 10.1258/0956462981922764.


Vulvovaginal candidiasis is a frequent inflammatory process in women but it has not been widely studied in female sex workers (FSWs). To estimate the frequency of Candida species infection in FSWs and to identify related risk factors and clinical findings, we carried out a retrospective study of 1923 FSWs over 11 years. We also performed a prospective study of 163 consecutive FSWs with a history of candidiasis during a 4-year period. Candida species were isolated in 1967 samples (18.5% of the total). Candida albicans (89.3%) was the most frequent species, followed by Candida glabrata (2.7%), Candida parapsilosis (1.2%) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae (0.4%). In the prospective study of 163 patients, we found vaginal discharge in 76.1% of cases, soreness in 52.1% and vulval pruritus in 32.5%. We identified 12 patients (7.4%) with recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis. No statistical difference was found between recurrent vulvovaginitis and the use of oral contraceptives, oral sex, tight-fitting clothing and synthetic underwear. FSWs have the same prevalence of candidiasis as other groups of women described in published literature. The proportion of albicans and non-albicans species does not differ between women with recurrent and non-recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / epidemiology*
  • Candidiasis, Vulvovaginal / microbiology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Spain / epidemiology