Table 1

Characteristics and organisation of sex work by migration status among indoor-working sex workers in London recruited 2008–2009

AllUK-born womenEE/FSU womenp Value*
n/n% or median (IQR)n% or median (IQR)n% or median (IQR)
No of women interviewed (% of total sample)26810539.2%16360.8%
Recruitment method
 Project clinic/drop-in/outreach referral78/26429.5%65.7%7245.3%
 Social network referral106/26440.1%5552.4%5132.1%
 Cold call52/26419.7%2624.8%2616.4%
 Field worker's contact28/26410.6%1817.1%106.3%<0.001
Age (years)26 (22–35)33.5 (24–45)25 (22–29)<0.001
 Attended higher education56/24522.9%2021.00%3624.0%
 Completed secondary education175/24571.4%7376.80%10268.0%
 Completed primary14/2455.7%22.1%128.0%0.11
Accommodation in last 4 weeks
 Own home149/25458.6%7673.1%7347.4%
 Parents' home26/25410.2%.01211.5%149.1%
 Someone else's home59/25423.2%98.6%5032.5%
Have children112/25344.4%6666.0%4630.1%<0.001
Organisation of sex work
Main financial reason for entering sex work
 Household expenses/support family123/24849.6%5351.5%7048.3%
 Social life31/24812.5%1716.5%1410.0%
 Made to work by someone/give to other13/2485.2%32.9%106.9%
Duration in sex work (years)3 (1–8)5 (2–15)3 (1–4)<0.001
Where most often met clients in last 4 weeks
Median % earnings kept for personal use on last working day50 (50–75)50 (50–75)50 (50–80)0.69
Lifetime experience of drug use for non-medical reasons††103/24941.4%5757.6%4630.7%<0.001
Uses drugs‡‡ during or before sex work in last 4 weeks45/25018.0%2828.3%1711.3%<0.001
  • * p Value derived from χ2 tests or two-sample Wilcoxon Mann–Whitney tests. See online appendix for summary of sample size needed to detect a significant difference (80% power, 95% precision).

  • 10 People were recruited via outreach referrals.

  • This includes field workers' personal contacts or acquaintance and one recruit of unknown origin.

  • § Other includes: hotel (6), working flat (11), homeless hostel (1), council flat (1), unspecified (1).

  • Other defined as staying ahead/maintaining normal life (2).

  • ** Other includes: street (3), regulars (1), variety (1).

  • †† This includes injecting or non-injecting.

  • ‡‡ Drugs include: marijuana (10), ecstasy (1), opium (1), powder cocaine (20), crack (8), heroin (3), cocaine and heroin (1), prescription methadone (1).