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HIV prevalence, AIDS knowledge and sexual behavior among female migrant sex workers in Palermo, Italy

Tolulope M. Ola, Ekiti State University
Vivian Wiwoloku, Pellegrino Della Terra Onlus (PEDETO)
Roseline Adeniji

This paper presents the results of a survey with 123 female migrant sex workers (FMSWs) in Palermo, Italy. The objectives were to describe their socio-demographic characteristics, HIV prevalence, work conditions, sexual behavior and AIDS knowledge. A questionnaire with both open and close ended questions focusing on the FMSWs' socio-demographic characteristics, work conditions, sexual behavior and AIDS knowledge variables was used for data collection. The findings of the study revealed that FMSWs had adequate overall knowledge of HIV. More than one-third of them were west-Africans. The overall HIV prevalence was 8%, with large differences in rates in people from different countries. However, the work conditions are not favorable for the consistent use of condoms since sex work is not legalized in Italy and 22% of the FMSWs were undocumented. There is need for increased support for FMSWs' health and rights in Italy especially those that are undocumented.

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Presented in Session 93: Behavioral responses to HIV/AIDS