Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Correlates of HIV Testing among Female Sex Workers in Iran: Findings of a National Bio-Behavioural Surveillance Survey



Female sex workers (FSWs) are the second most affected population by HIV in Iran. However, their HIV testing practices are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate testing and its associated factors among HIV negative FSWs.

Materials and methods

Using facility based sampling, 1005 FSWs were recruited in 14 cities of Iran in 2010. Biological and survey data were collected through dried blood spot testing and standardized risk assessment questionnaire, respectively. In this paper, the prevalence of HIV testing and its correlates were explored among 714 HIV-negative FSWs using descriptive statistics and logistic regression models.


Overall 65.4% had not tested in the past year. Only 27.5% had tested in the past year and received their results. FSWs who perceived themselves at risk of HIV (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 8.35, 95% CI: 1.46, 47.6), had received free condom during past year (AOR = 3.90, 95% CI: 1.67, 9.14), started sex work at an older age (AOR18-24 = 2.83, 95% CI: 1.14, 7.0; AOR >24 = 2.76, 95% CI: 1.11, 6.84), and knew an HIV testing site (AOR = 5.67, 95% CI: 2.60, 12.4) had a significantly higher chance of having a recent HIV test result.


Less than one third of FSWs in Iran knew their recent HIV status. Interventions to help FSWs evaluate their potential risk for HIV and integrate HIV testing services in condom distribution programs, could be viable strategies in increasing HIV testing uptake among FSWs. Health policy makers should also try to de-stigmatize HIV testing, identify the barriers to HIV testing, and make HIV testing sites more visible to FSWs.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View