Nippon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 1993 May; 40(5): 387-91.
[Prevalence of hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus infection among Japanese female prostitutes]
Department of Epidemiology, Kanagawa Cancer Center Research Institute.
To investigate the incidence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in Japanese sexual workers, 191 out of 194 female prostitutes working in a certain district of the Tokyo metropolitan area were tested for anti-HCV, anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV), anti-HIV and anti-Treponema pallidum (TP). They were also interviewed with regard to their past history of blood transfusion, vaccination against HBV, liver diseases and repeated skin piercing treatments such as tattooing, acupuncture and intravenous drug use. Sera from 300 female blood donors (aged 20 s-40 s), of the same district, collected during the same year, were assessed for comparison. Incidence of seropositives for anti-HCV and anti-TP were found to be significantly high in the prostitute group (11.0% and 16.2%, respectively) compared to the control (0% for both). Anti-HBV seropositives were 14.1% in the prostitute group and 12.7% in the control group without significant difference and none of our subjects were found to be anti-HIV positive. Among HCV infected only 5 experienced repeated skin-piercing treatment and none underwent blood transfusion. From these results it is concluded that HCV has a potential for being transmitted by heterosexual contact, although the exact risk for infection needs to be determined by further investigation.