Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Commercial Sex Workers Regarding Cervical Cancer and Its Screening, Daulatdia Brothel, Rajbari District, Bangladesh, 2020-2021

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh.

2 CDC, US, Bangladesh.

3 University of South Asia, Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Background: Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in females in Bangladesh. This is caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Multiple sex partners, HIV infection, smoking, using birth control pills, and having more than three children are risk factors of cervical cancer. Hence, female sex workers have a high prevalence of infection with high risk HPV genotypes which eventually may causes cervical cancer. Unfortunately, the status of knowledge, attitude and practice among female sex workers regarding cervical cancer is mostly unknown. The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice of women living in Daulatdia brothel regarding cervical cancer and its screening.  Methods: A cross-sectional knowledge-practice survey was conducted among 400 female sex workers in Daulatdia Brothel, Rajbari District, Bangladesh. The women’s total score on knowledge, and practice were categorized as sufficient or insufficient. We calculated frequencies and used binary logistic regression to describe and assess the association between scores and socio-demographic characteristics of respondents. Results: Most sex workers (61%) were between 29 to 35 years, married at 13 to 15 years of age, and divorced (91%). Middle aged sex workers were more likely have a VIA test  than women in the 29 to 35 years group (18%, OR:5.2; CI: 2.0, 13.5). Less than half of the studied women (40%) had sufficient knowledge regarding cervical cancer and 12% knew that infection by HPV is a risk factor. Respondents with primary and secondary education were more likely to have sufficient knowledge than the illiterate (42%, OR: 1.32; CI: 0.82, 2.12). Practices to prevent cervical cancer were very poor. Nearly all women (99%) would recommend other women to have a VIA test. There were only 7% who had a VIA test and 2% were vaccinated against HPV. Unmarried sex workers were more likely to take action to prevent cervical cancer. Sex workers educated up to the primary level were more likely to have a VIA or other tests than the illiterate sex workers (10%, OR: 1.3; CI: 0.6, 3.2). Conclusion: Sex workers in Daulatdia brothel were less knowledgeable about cervical cancer and less likely to have a VIA test and poor practices towards preventing cervical cancer. The sex workers underutilized the VIA test and HPV vaccine. 


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