Sexual and addictive risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infections in illegal gold miners in French Guiana: a multicenter observational study - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2022

Sexual and addictive risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infections in illegal gold miners in French Guiana: a multicenter observational study

Abstract

Objectives: Common representations of the world of gold mining-especially illegal-are usually negative: the activity conjures up images of drug trafficking, human exploitation, the sex trade, environmental destruction, and infectious diseases, in particular sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The aim of the present article is to describe the levels of risk behaviors such as transactional sex, multiple sexual partners, and the frequency of condom use, addictive substance consumption, and the prevalence of STIs among the population of illegal gold miners in French Guiana (FG), a French overseas entity in Amazonia, in order to guide potential interventions. Methods: An observational multicenter cross-sectional study was carried out from October to December 2019 along the two borders of FG with Suriname and Brazil at rest sites used by the miners. Results: Among the 499 participants, transactional sex was very prevalent, declared by 33.5% of men and 8.4% of women. Condoms were more frequently used for transactional sex than with a non-commercial partner (93.4% versus 42.1%). More women were tested for HIV than men (91.1% versus 55.2%). Excessive alcohol consumption (57.3%%) and tobacco use (41.2%) were very frequent, but cocaine or crack consumption was low (1.2%), which refuted our initial assumption. Consumers of alcohol had more sexual partners and reported condom use more frequently. Prevalence of HIV, HCV, HBV, and syphilis was respectively 0.5% (95% CI: 0.1-2.1), 2.1% (95% CI: 0.7-3.6), 1.6% (95% CI: 0.3-2.8), and 12.4% (95% CI: 9.0-15.7), which was higher than in the local population, especially for syphilis. Conclusion: This study documents for the first time the risk behaviors of gold miners in FG. Although the level of condom use was high, the prevalence of STIs combined with the high rate of transactional sex should encourage an increase in prevention and screening, in particular through rapid tests, given the mobility of the population concerned.
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inserm-04055827 , version 1 (03-04-2023)

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Louise Mutricy-Hureau, Amandine Pisoni, Amandine Pisoni, Martha Suarez-Mutis, Amanda Figueira da Silva, et al.. Sexual and addictive risk behaviors and sexually transmitted infections in illegal gold miners in French Guiana: a multicenter observational study. PLoS ONE, 2022, 17 (9), pp.e0272932. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0272932⟩. ⟨inserm-04055827⟩
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