Introduction Sex-workers do not always engage with traditional healthcare settings and migrant sex-workers are a growing vulnerable group. Our city uses a ‘managed approach’ to sex-working, with focus on identifying exploitation and trafficking. This gives a unique opportunity for outreach.
Aim(s)/objectives Provide accessible sexual healthcare, health promotion and contraception to sex-workers not accessing care. Evaluate this outreach service after one year.
Methods A partnership was established between the Integrated Sexual Health service and a local Third Sector Sex-work Project. Sex-workers were offered STI testing, treatment, HepB vaccination and contraception in an outreach setting (own homes/workplaces, charity premises, streets).
Results (at one year):
129 sex-workers seen (289 contacts); 70/129 (55%) were migrant (majority Romanian), 113 contacts; 70% previously unknown to sexual health services. Contraception was extended over the first year and provided to 25 sex-workers; Hep B vaccination offered to all. 45 infections identified in 28/70 (40%) migrants (compared with 26 infections in 21/59 (36%) non-migrant sex-workers): 33/45 Chlamydia: 20 extra-genital (5 pharyngeal, 15 rectal); 5/45 Gonorrhoea (all extra-genital); 8/45 Trichomonas Vaginalis. 27/28 successfully treated (1 moved away). 4 women had re-infection on interval rescreening (all Chlamydia). 1 case of chronic HepB, 1 chronic HepC, no cases HIV or syphilis
Discussion This new outreach service successfully targeted a vulnerable group with a disproportionately high STI burden (40%). Use of a dedicated outreach team achieved trusted relationships with sex-workers. Secondary benefits included a 250% increase in women identifying as sex-workers accessing mainstream clinics.
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