TTV, a DNA virus, has been isolated from patients with non-A to non-E post-transfusion hepatitis. In the past it was assumed that TTV was transmitted parenterally. It is unclear whether sexual contact leads to transmission of this virus. In this study, two sets of TTV-specific polymerase chain reaction primers were used to detect serum TTV DNA in 140 prostitutes and 136 controls. The prevalence of TTV DNA in prostitutes was significantly higher than in the control group (46/140 [32.9%] vs. 29/136 [21.3%]; P = 0.043). There was no significant difference in the prevalence of positive antibody to hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) in either group (87.8% for prostitutes, 85.3% for controls). No particular risk factor was significantly associated with positive TTV DNA in prostitutes. In summary, TTV is highly prevalent in prostitutes. Transmission of TTV via sexual contact is not as efficient as transmission of hepatitis C and D viruses and GB virus-C hepatitis G virus. The high prevalence of TTV in controls indicates that there are diverse routes of transmission of this virus.