Sexual history taking in general practice: managing sexually transmitted infections for female sex workers by doctors and assistant doctors in Vietnam Academic Article uri icon


  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Vietnam have been increasing. Control of STIs among female sex workers (FSWs) is important in controlling the epidemic. Effective STI control requires that physicians are skilful in taking sexual history for FSW patients. Three hundred and seventy-one physicians responded to a survey conducted in three provinces in Vietnam. The respondents were asked whether they asked FSW patients about their sexual history and information asked during sexual history taking. The respondents were also asked about their barriers for taking sexual history. Over one-fourth (27%) respondents always, over half (54%) respondents sometimes and 19% respondents never obtained a sexual history from FSW patients. Multivariable analysis revealed that factors associated with always taking a sexual history were being doctor, training in STIs and working at provincial level facilities. Physician's discomfort was found to be inversely associated with training on communication with patients, seeing 15 or fewer patients a week, working at provincial level facilities. Issues in sexual history taking among FSW patients in general practice in Vietnam were identified. These issues can help STI control for FSW patients and need due attention in order to improve STI management in Vietnam.

publication date

  • 2015