AIDS Knowledge Among Arrested Sex Workers and Sex Consumers in Taoyuan, Northern Taiwan

Hui-Chun Huang1, Sheue-Rong Lin1, Yu-Hui Lo2, Tsuei-Mi Huang1, Chia-Ling Chen2, Lai-Chu See2,3

2011 Vol.27 NO.6

Correspondence Author: Lai-Chu See


Sex workers or sex consumers who have multiple sexual partners are at a high risk of contracting HIV or venereal diseases. Since July 2006, the Public Health Bureau, Taoyuan County Government, has given a questionnaire to arrested sex workers/consumers to assess their knowledge about AIDS prevention. After filling out questionnaire, sex workers/consumers were given leaflets about AIDS prevention. Since March, 2007, further education about items with incorrect answers was initiated. This study analyzed the answers to a questionnaire given to arrested sex workers/sex consumers in order to assess their knowledge about AIDS prevention and to evaluate the efficacy of the health education leaflets and education counseling.
From July 2006 to January 2008, 467 sex workers/sex consumers were arrested in Taoyuan, Taiwan, and 142 valid questionnaires (30.4%) were used for this study. There were 83.1% sex workers and 16.9% sex consumers. The rate of correct answers about AIDS knowledge was 56.2%. Specifically, 22% wrongly believed they could take medicine to enhance the body’s immunity for HIV/AIDS prevention and 24.3% were unaware that HIV/AIDS is a non-curable disease. Only 12.7% knew about the government service for HIV testing, and most sex workers/sex consumers in this study answered incorrectly that blood donation was not an option for HIV/AIDS screening (i.e., they believed it was an option). The rate of correct answers for AIDS knowledge did not increase over the study period, which implies that information about AIDS prevention given to the arrested sex workers/sex consumers were not passed on to their friends.