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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Oral Health 1/2015

Oral health and HIV infection among female sex workers in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire

BMC Oral Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Marcellin N. Nouaman, David G. Meless, Patrick A. Coffie, Elise Arrivé, Boris K. Tchounga, Didier K. Ekouévi, Camille Anoma, Serge P. Eholié, François Dabis, Antoine Jaquet, the IeDEA West Africa collaboration
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12903-015-0129-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

MN, DGM, PAC, EA, AJ, designed the study. The survey form was developed and validated by MN, DGM, PAC, EA, AJ. Data collection was made and supervised by MN, DGM, PAC, EA, DKE, BKT, CA, SPE, AJ. Analysis and interpretation of data was performed by MN, DGM, PAC, EA, DKE, AJ. The manuscript was drafted by MN, and critical revision for important intellectual content was provided by MN, DGM, PAC, EA,BKT, DKE, FD, AJ. All authors read and commented on the original manuscript and all agreed on the version finalized by MN for submission.

Authors’ information

For the IeDEA West Africa collaboration.



Worldwide, female sex workers (FSW) represent a vulnerable population for oral diseases due to many risk factors including HIV infection and drug abuse. In sub-Saharan Africa, little is known about the burden of oral diseases and their determinants in vulnerable populations. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and associated factors of oral diseases among FSW.


A cross sectional study was conducted among FSW who attended a dedicated non-profit clinic in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire from June to August 2013. Data about the presence of dental caries, periodontitis and oral-mucosal lesions were collected by a dentist during an oral examination. Behavioural information related to oral hygiene habits as well as tobacco and alcohol consumption were collected through a standardized questionnaire. Information related to HIV infection including HIV diagnosis, last known CD4 count and antiretroviral therapy were documented through a medical chart review. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with oral diseases.


A total of 249 FSW with a median age of 29 years, [Inter Quartile Range (IQR) = 23–36] and a median duration of sex work of 24 months [IQR 9–60]) were included. Current tobacco use and hazardous alcohol use were reported in 21.7 % and 19.7 % of FSW, respectively. The estimated prevalence of HIV infection was 33.7 % [95 % confidence interval (CI); 27.8 – 39.6]) and 82.1 % of HIV-infected FSW were on antiretroviral therapy . The prevalence of dental caries, periodontitis and oral-mucosal lesions were 62.3 % [95 % CI 55.5 – 67.5], 14.5 % [95 % CI 10.2 – 18.9] and 8.2 % [95 % CI 4.8 – 11.5], respectively. In multivariate analysis, periodontitis, oral-mucosal lesions and HIV infection were associated with odds ratio of 2.6 [95 % CI, 1.2–5.8]) and 50.0 [95 % CI; 6.4–384.6].


This study showed a high prevalence of oral diseases among FSW in Abidjan. HIV infection was common and significantly associated with periodontal diseases and oral-mucosal lesions. There is a need to integrate regular screening and treatment of oral lesions into the medical follow-up of FSW along with strategies for HIV prevention.
Additional file 1: Appendix 1. (PDF 135 kb)
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