High levels of HIV infection and misinformation among sex workers in Chad
One-third of sex workers interviewed in a recent survey by the Central African government of Chad thought mosquito bites or sharing a meal could spread HIV, according to a story in IRIN.
Almost half the workers had been tested, but few had a clear understanding of the disease, with the most misinformation reported in the central and northern regions.
More than 20 percent of sex workers were found to be infected, compared to a national HIV prevalence of 3.3 percent; infections were likely to be higher among sex workers in the Lake Chad area, where testing was recently offered for the first time.
Hadje Gomssou, the president of an association of sex workers on the island of Fitine, told IRIN that clients had become scarcer because a lot of fishermen had left following a government ban on fish exports.
Gomssou said the women were desperate for work and had no choice whether they used condoms or not. In any event, many had come to believe that condoms themselves spread AIDS as the virus was implanted in them.