2016-11-21Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3847-6
STI tests and proportion of positive tests in female sex workers attending local public health departments in Germany in 2010/11
Background: In Germany, local public health departments (LPHD) are required to offer low-threshold access to confidential counselling and testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI) for sex workers. We collected data from LPHD in Germany to estimate the number of performed STI tests and the proportion of positive STI tests among attending female sex workers (FSW) in order to formulate recommendations for improving STI testing and care for FSW in Germany. Methods: We recruited LPHD across Germany to collect aggregated data on attending FSW between January 2010 and March 2011. Baseline characteristics, the number of attending FSW, STI tests (HIV, Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoea, syphilis and Trichomonas vaginalis) and the number of positive results were provided by participating LPHD. We described the number of STI tests per FSW visit and the proportion of positive test results, including interquartile range (IQR). We tested whether baseline characteristics of LPHD were associated with the proportion of positive test results. Results: Overall, 28 LPHD from 14 of the 16 federal states reported 9284 FSW visits over the study period, with a median of 188 FSW visits (IQR 45–440) per LPHD. Overall, a median of 77.1% (IQR 60.7–88.0) of visiting FSW received a test for Neisseria gonorrhoea, followed by HIV (66.0%, IQR 47.9–86.8), Chlamydia trachomatis (65.4%, IQR 50.7–83.6) and syphilis (61.6, IQR 48.6–78.6). In total, 22,914 STI tests were performed. The proportion of positive tests was 3.1% (IQR 1.3–4.8), with the highest proportion of positive tests for Chlamydia trachomatis (6.8%, IQR 2.5–10.4), followed by Neisseria gonorrhoea (3.2%, IQR 0.0–5.3), Trichomonas vaginalis (3.0%, IQR 0.0–15.4), syphilis (1.1%, IQR 0.0–1.3) and HIV (0.2%, IQR 0.0–0.4). The proportion of positive tests varied between 0 and 13.9% between LPHD, with a higher variation of proportion of positive tests in LPHD with a smaller number of reported STI tests. Conclusions: Participating LPHD varied in terms of performed STI tests and FSW visits. The proportion of positive STI tests was low, but varied between LPHD. This variation likely reflects different testing strategies. Existing testing guidelines should be used by all LPHD to ensure high quality care for FSW.
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