In the developing world condom use among sex workers and their clients plays a dominant role in the transmission of HIV/STD. In Surabaya, Indonesia, data from the 1993 STD prevalence survey in female sex workers (brothels, street, massage parlours, barber shops, call-girl houses, and nightclubs) reveal that only 5% (33/692) of the brothel workers and 14% (25/177) of the street walkers had condoms in their possession at the time of the interview. During the last paid sexual intercourse, sex workers from the brothels, streets, and nightclubs used condoms infrequently (14%, 20%, and 25%, respectively). Sex workers from massage parlours, barber shops, and call girls were about 5 to 3 times more likely to use condoms than sex workers from nightclubs (adjusted odds ratio of 3.5, 4.9, and 4.2, respectively); thus condom promotion programmes should be targeted at sex workers at brothels, streets, and nightclubs. Programmes should include: (1) free distribution of condoms to sex establishments at the initial stage, and condom social marketing at later stages; (2) penalties, including legal sanctions, against any sex establishments that do not consistently use condoms; (3) participation of brothel owners and madams in encouraging sex workers to consistently have clients use condoms during sexual intercourse; and (4) establishment of sentinel surveillance to monitor STD/HIV and condom-use compliance.
- Sex workers