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Find articles by Glenda Fehler Marcus Y. Chen Catriona S. Law Find articles by Matthew G. Law Christopher K. Performed the experiments: GF ID. Received Mar 26; Accepted Jun This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Associated Data Data Availability Statement The authors confirm that, for approved reasons, some access restrictions apply to the data underlying the findings. Given that this study involving human participants and it involves participant privacy, the current ethics does not allow us to provide individual participant data to the public.
Relevant data are available upon request to the corresponding author. Abstract Background The frequency of testing sex workers for sexually transmitted infections STIs in Victoria, Australia, was changed from monthly to quarterly on 6 October The number of STIs diagnosed in the clinic increased from to from the monthly to quarterly period, respectively [ Overall the change in frequency is likely to have had a beneficial effect on STI control in Victoria.
Introduction Laws governing the sex industry in Australia are determined by the State and Territory Governments and vary across the country. Prior to 6 October , monthly STI screening for Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoea, and Trichomonas vaginalis and quarterly serological tests for HIV and syphilis was recommended for Victorian sex workers.
From October , the recommended frequency of STI screening for sex workers changed from monthly to every three months quarterly. At the time of screening, sex workers are issued with a certificate of attendance for STI screening which they can present to the brothel manager. In some brothels, they are not permitted to work without an in-date certificate of screening. Sex workers in Victoria have an extremely low STI prevalence. It is hypothesized that reducing the frequency of STI screening of sex workers would result in more consultation time available for higher-risk individuals, such as men who have sex with men MSM , and an overall improvement in population health as a result .
Due to the low STI incidence rate, the high rate of condom use in female sex workers FSW and the potential waste of limited public health resources; the Victorian Minister for Health published in the gazette an order to change to STI screening frequency in relation to sex workers from monthly to quarterly. To evaluate the impact the change in the screening regimen of sex workers has had in Victoria, we compared the number of STI diagnoses, nature and duration of clinical consultations seen at the MHSC in the year before and after the change.