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Syphilis in female sex workers: Female sex workers FSWs are considered a bridge for transmission of pathogens from high-risk to general populations. Two hundred and twenty-two FSWs were interviewed and samples were analyzed using rapid qualitative tests and real-time polymerase chain reaction. The prevalence of syphilis was high The high rate of prostitution, use of illicit drugs, and search for financial resources increased Treponema pallidum transmission through unprotected sex.
Several characteristics of FSWs were identified, which reinforce the need for measures guaranteeing their health and protection. Annually, approximately 10 million new cases of syphilis are reported in adults worldwide, of which, almost one third 2. The countries of Latin America and the Caribbean are making concerted efforts to control the spread of the disease, particularly congenital syphilis 2.
The number of cases in Brazil nearly doubled between and The overall prevalence of syphilis in this country is approximately 0. Syphilis is a vertical, blood-related, systemic infectious disease with chronic evolution, which is transmitted through sexual contact. It is caused by Treponema pallidum , a pathogen exclusive to humans 2 , 3. The transmission rates are related to a range of social, biological, cultural, and behavioral factors that influence the occurrence of infections in the population 3.
Female sex workers FSWs are a group at high risk for the acquisition of sexually transmitted infections STIs such as syphilis, due to their social vulnerability and the risks associated with their occupation, including multiple sexual partners, inconsistent use of condoms, and co-infections with other STIs 2 , 3.
However, limited epidemiological data are available on syphilis in FSWs in northern Brazil. Two studies conducted in the Brazilian state of Amazonas reported a prevalence of 0.