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Kurova T, Shoubnikova M, Malceva A, Mardh PA. 
“Prostitution in Riga, Latvia--a socio-medical matter of concern”. 
Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1998 Jan;77(1):83-6.
OBJECTIVE: To study the background and the working and socio-economic conditions, and the prevalence of some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), among street and sex club female Latvian prostitutes. STUDY

DESIGN: Structured in-depth interviews, as well as clinical examination and laboratory tests for gonorrhea, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, ectoparasites and HIV-infections.

RESULTS: Approximately half of the 107 women stemmed from rural Latvian villages, the rest from the capital city of Riga. Of the women, 15-43 years, 36% were ethnic Latvians and 56% ethnic Russians, as compared to 58% vs. 32% of the population of Latvia. Poor economy with unemployment and miserly living conditions were the main reasons for recruitment to prostitution. The income per client was in the range of 25-30 USD (10-15 Ls), but the pimp and brothel/sex club owner often requires half of the women's fees. Unprotected intercourse was common. Twenty of the women were found to be pregnant. One tenth used narcotic drugs, e.g. ecstasy. The prevalences of gonorrhea, active syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis and ectoparasites were 10.2%, 15.7%, 68.2%, 35.5% and 15.9% respectively. None was HIV-infected. CONCLUSIONS: There is an urgent need for regulation of the Latvian 'sex industry', means for providing prostitutes with adequate contraceptives, and to allocate resources to clinics for investigation, therapy and counseling.
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