Syphilis testing among female prisoners in Brazil: results of a national cross-sectional survey

Rosane da Silva Santana, Ligia Kerr, Rosa Maria Salani Mota, Carl Kendall, Roberto da Justa Neto, Hermelinda Maia Macena, David Seal, Alvaro Francisco Lopes Sousa, Willi McFarland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Brazil has the third largest prison population in the world and is also experiencing a high and rising rate of syphilis infection. To establish the gaps in syphilis testing, we examined data from a nationally representative sample of incarcerated women in Brazil. Data originated from a cross-sectional survey designed to represent all regions of Brazil (N = 1,327). Data were collected by Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview, including variables in several blocks or domains. 49.2% had a lifetime history of being tested for syphilis. Increased likelihood of syphilis testing was significantly associated with completed elementary education (odds ratio ajustado [AOR] 1.75, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.28-2.40), completed high school or more (AOR 2.04, 95% CI 1.36-3.06), income below minimum wage (AOR 1.46, 95% CI 1.10-1.94), homelessness (AOR 1.83, 95% CI 1.21-2.76), having heard of the female condom (AOR 1.92, 95% CI 1.25-2.95), received a condom in prison (AOR 1.56, 95% CI 1.11-2.21) or in public health services (AOR 1.50, 95% CI 1.13-1.98), lifetime history of pregnancy (AOR 2.55, 95% CI 1.67-3.89), had a gynecological examination (AOR 1.73, 95% CI 1.05-2.83), and perceived they had some chance (AOR 1.61, 95% CI 1.17-2.20) or a big chance (AOR 1.89, 95% CI 1.31-2.73) that they were likely to have been infected with HIV before entering prison.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Sep 2020


  • Female
  • Prisoners
  • Syphilis diagnosis
  • Brazil


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