Sex workers prefer to send samples, not visit clinics

April 3rd, 2009 - 9:13 am ICT by IANS  

London, April 3 (IANS) Commercial sex workers (CSW) prefer to send samples to screen for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) rather than visit clinics, a study has found.
The study showed that women who were given tampons to collect their own samples and post them to the lab preferred this method of screening for STDs, which also proved more accurate than traditional tests.

Patrick Kimmitt of the University of Westminister, who led the study, pointed out that despite their risk of exposure to STDs, sex workers are reluctant to attend clinics for regular screening. This may be due to unsuitability of opening times or fear of stigma.

The study involved 65 CSWs. Each was asked to complete a questionnaire in which they indicated their preferences for screening and ease of use of sample collection.

The samples were processed using a method called PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) which rapidly detects a unique DNA sequence in three of the micro-organisms that cause gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomonas.

For comparison, samples were also collected and screened for these pathogens using traditional lab methods.

More cases of gonorrhoea and chlamydia were detected using the PCR method compared to traditional methods, said a Westminster release.

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