Guidelines for the management of sexually transmitted infections in female sex workers
STI clinics have a special role to play in reducing STIs, including HIV/AIDS. However, vulnerable women in general have difficulty in accessing health care, especially STI care, due to such factors as moralistic and judgemental attitudes among health workers, services insensitive to women’s needs, and, in many cases, poverty. Female sex workers (FSW), despite being at higher risk of acquiring and transmitting STIs, face additional barriers such as discrimination and their own fear of being penalized for their illegal profession. Undoubtedly, there is a great need to provide high quality, acceptable and accessible STI services for these marginalized women.
Increasing awareness of these issues has led to efforts being made to provide better STI and reproductive health services for FSW in Cambodia, China and Viet Nam. Steps have also been taken to develop STI services for FSW in Fiji, Mongolia and the Philippines. Based on the experiences of these pilot projects and programmes, these guidelines have been developed to provide appropriate technical guidance for the provision of clinical and social services for female sex workers.