Volume 74, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Several previous studies have reported a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among commercial sex workers (CSWs), but the situation is often compounded by coexisting factors, such as intravenous drug use. We conducted a seroepidemiologic study of 1,527 female CSWs in South Korea. All participants tested negative for human immunodeficiency virus and were not illicit intravenous drug users (IDUs). Twenty-one participants (1.4%) were positive for antibodies to HCV. According to the multivariate logistic regression analysis, a history of acupuncture and diabetes mellitus were associated with the seroprevalence of HCV, whereas time spent as a CSW showed only borderline significance. Sexual activity was not an independent predictor of increased risk for HCV infection in female CSWs who had never been illicit IDUs.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Shimbo S, Watanabe T, Nakatsuka H, Matsuda-Inoguchi N, Ko YS, Kim ES, Higashikawa K, Ikeda M, 2001. Prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus infection among women in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 32 : 362–368. [Google Scholar]
  2. Shin HR, Kim JY, Ohno T, Cao K, Mizokami M, Risch H, Kim SR, 2000. Prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus infection among Koreans in rural area of Korea. Hepatol Res 17 : 185–196. [Google Scholar]
  3. Shin HR, Kim JY, Kim JI, Lee DH, Yoo KY, Lee DS, Franceschi S, 2002. Hepatitis B and C virus prevalence in a rural area of South Korea: the role of acupuncture. Br J Cancer 87 : 314–318. [Google Scholar]
  4. Memon MI, Memon MA, 2002. Hepatitis C: an epidemiological review. J Viral Hepat 9 : 84–100. [Google Scholar]
  5. Ding X, Park YN, Taltavull TC, Thung SN, Jin X, Jin Y, Trung NS, Edamoto Y, Sata T, Abe K, 2003. Geographic characterization of hepatitis virus infections, genotyping of hepatitis B virus, and p53 mutation in hepatocellular carcinoma analyzed by in situ detection of viral genomes from carcinoma tissues: comparison among six different countries. Jpn J Infect Dis 56 : 12–18. [Google Scholar]
  6. Terrault NA, 2002. Sexual activity as a risk factor for hepatitis C. Hepatology 36 : S99–105. [Google Scholar]
  7. Corona R, Prignano G, Mele A, Gentili G, Caprilli F, Franco E, Ferrigno L, Giglio A, Titti F, Bruno C, 1991. Heterosexual and homosexual transmission of hepatitis C virus: relation with hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Epidemiol Infect 107 : 667–672. [Google Scholar]
  8. Page-Shafer KA, Cahoon-Young B, Klausner JD, Morrow S, Molitor F, Ruiz J, McFarland W, 2002. Hepatitis C virus infection in young, low-income women: the role of sexually transmitted infection as a potential cofactor for HCV infection. Am J Public Health 92 : 670–676. [Google Scholar]
  9. Yee LJ, Weiss HL, Langner RG, Herrera J, Kaslow RA, van Leeuwen DJ, 2001. Risk factors for acquisition of hepatitis C virus infection: a case series and potential implications for disease surveillance. BMC Infect Dis 1 : 8. [Google Scholar]
  10. Mertens TE, Hayes RJ, Smith PG, 1990. Epidemiological methods to study the interaction between HIV infection and other sexually transmitted diseases. AIDS 4 : 57–65. [Google Scholar]
  11. Kim O, Kim SS, Park MS, Suh SD, Lee MW, Kim KS, Yoon JD, Lee JS, 2003. Seroprevalence of sexually transmitted viruses in Korean populations including HIV-seropositive individuals. Int J STD AIDS 14 : 46–49. [Google Scholar]
  12. Terrault NA, 2005. Sex and hepatitis C. Am J Gastroenterol 100 : 825–826. [Google Scholar]
  13. Laurent C, Henzel D, Mulanga-Kabeya C, Maertens G, Larouze B, Delaporte E, 2001. Seroepidemiological survey of hepatitis C virus among commercial sex workers and pregnant women in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Int J Epidemiol 30 : 872–877. [Google Scholar]
  14. Ishi K, Suzuku F, Saito A, Yoshimoto S, Kubota T, 2001. Prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus antibodies and hepatitis B antigen among commercial sex workers in Japan. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol 9 : 215–219. [Google Scholar]
  15. Miyazaki M, Takagi S, Kato M, Une H, 2002. Prevalences of and risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases among Japanese female commercial sex workers in middle- and high-class soap-lands in Japan. Int J STD AIDS 13 : 833–838. [Google Scholar]
  16. Kim YS, Pai CH, Chi HS, Kim DW, Min YI, Ahn YO, 1992. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibody among Korean adults. J Korean Med Sci 7 : 333–336. [Google Scholar]
  17. Estcourt CS, Marks C, Rohrsheim R, Johnson AM, Donovan B, Mindel A, 2000. HIV, sexually transmitted infections, and risk behaviours in male commercial sex workers in Sydney. Sex Transm Infect 76 : 294–298. [Google Scholar]
  18. Russi JC, Serra M, Vinoles J, Perez MT, Ruchansky D, Alonso G, Sanchez JL, Russell KL, Montano SM, Negrete M, Weissenbacher M, 2003. Sexual transmission of hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infections among male transvestite comercial sex workers in Montevideo, Uruguay. Am J Trop Med Hyg 68 : 716–720. [Google Scholar]
  19. Montella M, Crispo A, Grimaldi M, Angeletti C, Amore A, Ronga D, Sabbatini M, Pisani A, Spiteri D, Serraino D, 2005. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in different population groups in southern Italy. Infection 33 : 9–12. [Google Scholar]
  20. Ahn Y, 1999. Recent changes in HBV carrier rate among Koreans. JAMA SEA 14 : 382–383. [Google Scholar]
  21. UNAIDS/UNICEF/WHO, 2004. Republic of Korea, 2004 Update. Epidemiological Fact Sheets on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  22. Kim JM, Cho GJ, Hong SK, Chang KH, Chung JS, Choi YH, Song YG, Huh A, Yeom JS, Lee KS, Choi JY, 2003. Epidemiology and clinical features of HIV infection/AIDS in Korea. Yonsei Med J 44 : 363–370. [Google Scholar]
  23. Kim YS, Ahn YO, Kim DW, 1996. A case-control study on the risk factors of hepatitis C virus infection among Koreans. J Korean Med Sci 11 : 38–43. [Google Scholar]
  24. Chen TZ, Wu JC, Yen FS, Sheng WY, Hwang SJ, Huo TI, Lee SD, 1995. Injection with nondisposable needles as an important route for transmission of acute community-acquired hepatitis C virus infection in Taiwan. J Med Virol 46 : 247–251. [Google Scholar]
  25. Shimoyama R, Sekiguchi S, Suga M, Sakamoto S, Yachi A, 1993. The epidemiology and infection route of asymptomatic HCV carriers detected through blood donations. Gastroenterol Jpn 28 (Suppl 5): 1–5. [Google Scholar]
  26. Walsh B, Maguire H, Carrington D, 1999. Outbreak of hepatitis B in an acupuncture clinic. Commun Dis Public Health 2 : 137–140. [Google Scholar]
  27. Israeli E, 1995. Harefuah 128 : 769–770. [Google Scholar]
  28. Hirose K, Tajima K, Fujihira N, Hasegawa S, Fujioka M, 1995. Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi 42 : 269–279. [Google Scholar]
  29. Wiwanitkit V, 2003. HIV infection after Chinese traditional acupuncture treatment. Complement Ther Med 11 : 272. [Google Scholar]
  30. Mehta SH, Brancati FL, Strathdee SA, Pankow JS, Netski D, Coresh J, Szklo M, Thomas DL, 2003. Hepatitis C virus infection and incident type 2 diabetes. Hepatology 38 : 50–56. [Google Scholar]
  31. Mehta SH, Brancati FL, Sulkowski MS, Strathdee SA, Szklo M, Thomas DL, 2000. Prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus among persons with hepatitis C virus infection in the United States. Ann Intern Med 133 : 592–599. [Google Scholar]
  32. Bahtiyar G, Shin JJ, Aytaman A, Sowers JR, McFarlane SI, 2004. Association of diabetes and hepatitis C infection: epidemiologic evidence and pathophysiologic insights. Curr Diab Rep 4 : 194–198. [Google Scholar]
  33. Sotiropoulos A, Peppas TA, Skliros E, Apostolou O, Kotsini V, Pappas SI, 1999. Low prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in Greek diabetic patients. Diabet Med 16 : 250–252. [Google Scholar]
  34. Kanesaki T, Kinoshita S, Tsujino G, Yoshioka K, Ikegami N, 1993. Hepatitis C virus infection in children with hemophilia: characterization of antibody response to four different antigens and relationship of antibody response, viremia, and hepatic dysfunction. J Pediatr 123 : 381–387. [Google Scholar]
  35. Eyster ME, Diamondstone LS, Lien JM, Ehmann WC, Quan S, Goedert JJ, 1993. Natural history of hepatitis C virus infection in multitransfused hemophiliacs: effect of coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus. The Multicenter Hemophilia Cohort Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 6 : 602–610. [Google Scholar]
  36. Makris M, Preston FE, Triger DR, Underwood JC, Choo QL, Kuo G, Houghton M, 1990. Hepatitis C antibody and chronic liver disease in haemophilia. Lancet 335 : 1117–1119. [Google Scholar]
  37. Tokars JI, Frank M, Alter MJ, Arduino MJ, 2002. National surveillance of dialysis-associated diseases in the United States, 2000. Semin Dial 15 : 162–171. [Google Scholar]
  38. Fabrizi F, Bunnapradist S, Lunghi G, Martin P, 2003. Kinetics of hepatitis C virus load during hemodialysis: novel perspectives. J Nephrol 16 : 467–475. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 02 Nov 2005
  • Accepted : 11 Jan 2006

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error