Prevalence of soft-tissue lesions among women in sex work in the red light area of Pune, India: A cross-sectional survey
Shrikanth Muralidharan1, Arunkumar Acharya2, Tejaswi Sevekari3, Sanaa Wadwan4, Noopur Rajiv Joglekar3, Shanthi Margabandhu5
1 Department of Public Health Dentistry, M. A. Rangoonwala College of Dental Sciences and Research Centre, Pune, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Public Health Dentistry, Navodaya Dental College and Hospital, Raichur, India
3 Director, HIV/AIDS, Karyakarta Sangh, Budhwar Peth, Pune, Maharashtra, India
4 BDS, Private Practioner, Pune, Maharashtra, India
5 Department of Public Health Dentistry, MR Ambedkar Dental College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Dr. Shrikanth Muralidharan
Department of Public Health Dentistry, MA Rangoonwala Dental College, Pune, Maharashtra
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Aim and Objective: The women in sex work have no felt need for oral health and much of the stress has always been on sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There is a need for a baseline data for the oral lesions of these women to further assist in the policy formulations and training of personnel for the identification of the oral conditions which need treatment. The aim of the study was to evaluate the presence of oral lesions among female sex workers in the red light area of Pune, India.
Materials and Methods: The Community Periodontal Index and loss of attachment (LA) index was recorded along with the other soft-tissue lesions as per the WHO Oral Health Assessment from 1997. The calculated sample was 350. Systematic sampling technique was followed. The data collected were subjected to statistical analysis and analysis was done using SPSS package 16.0.
Results: A total of 110 (31.4%) women had leukoplakia, 6 women (1.7%) had ulceration, 41 (11.7%) women had candidiasis, and 1 woman (0.3%) had swollen gingiva. As the age increased, there was an increase in the number of pockets. The percentage of women above 60 years had higher LA.
Conclusion: The women in sex work are mainly spoken to about HIV and STIs. With almost all of these women requiring some or the other form of treatment, utilization of the available dental workforce with both government and public partnership could be the route.