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Study Finds AIDS Infection in 27 Percent of Male Prostitutes

September 20, 1989

BOSTON (AP) _ More than one-quarter of male prostitutes studied in Atlanta were infected with the AIDS virus, and the virus was especially common among those also exposed to syphilis and hepatitis, according to a report.

Until now, most studies of AIDS among prostitutes have focused on women.

In the latest work, researchers took blood samples from 152 male street walkers. Overall, 27 percent were infected with HIV, the AIDS virus, as were 55 percent of those who also had syphilis and 37 percent of those exposed to hepatitis B.

Forty-six percent of the prostitutes described themselves as heterosexual, while the rest said they were bisexual or homosexual.

The survey was conducted by Dr. Kirk W. Elifson and colleagues from Georgia State University. It was published as a letter in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.

″The rate of HIV-1 infection in our sample suggests the need for continued educational, drug-treatment and outreach efforts for male prostitutes and their sexual partners,″ they wrote.

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