a street scene


How can I protect myself?


Sexual health is important to anyone, but as a sex worker it can affect you personally and professionally – if you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI), you might not be able to work. That is why it’s important to take control of it. It is easy and free. We can help you to manage your sexual health and help you protect yourself. Read more about reducing your risk of STIs.

The easiest and best way to make sex safer is to use condoms or Femidoms. If you are a male sex worker, you might find that some clients do not like you using condoms, and even though that’s your decision to make, we advise you not to take on anyone who is unwilling to use protection.

Condoms aren’t one size fits all - there are lots of different shapes, sizes and thicknesses available. You need to find a condom that is most suitable for you when you’re working - if you’re seeing lots of clients, you need to make sure you are comfortable. Find more information from Terrence Higgins Trust about using using a condom and types of condoms.

If you’re a female sex worker, you might find using a Femidom – a female condom – more suitable. You can insert it several hours before sex and it not only protects against STIs and HIV, it can help prevent pregnancy. More about using a femidom.

Do not rely on your clients to carry protection. Stock up at your local clinic and keep a stash on you at all times, so you’re always prepared.

For more information and tips about safer sex, visit Terrence Higgins Trust's reduce your risk web pages.

Where can I get a check-up?

We advise that sex workers get screened for STIs and HIV regularly (every two or three months), as the more sex you have, the more risk there is. You can call the SWISH team to book an appointment at one of our clinics on Wednesdays or Thursdays, or locate your nearest sexual health clinic to organise a check-up

What if I’m not originally from the UK?

If you are an immigrant you’re still entitled to the same standard of health care. You won’t be asked to disclose any personal details – other than those about your sex life – and you will be in no danger of being reported.You can find out more from Terrence Higgins Trust's immigration pages.

Last review: 25/09/2014

Next review: 25/09/2017