Behavioural and lifestyle study of women using a drop-in centre for female street sex workers in Glasgow, Scotland: A 10 year comparative study

  • Gilchrist G
  • Taylor A
  • Goldberg D
 et al. 
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The study compared street sex workers' working patterns, sexual
behaviour, drug use, and knowledge of HIV and Hepatitis C, in 1999 (114
women) to those in 1989 (63 women) among women who used a Drop-in Centre
(DIC) for female sex workers in Glasgow's ``red light district{''}. The
vast majority of prostitutes in both cohorts were drug users, although a
significantly greater proportion of women in 1999 used drugs (95%) than
in 1989 (83%). It appears that while the proportion of drug users who
inject has remained constant (1999: 96/107: 90%: 1989: 51/52: 98%),
the proportion ``ever{''} sharing injecting equipment has fallen (73%
in 1989 to 52% in 1999). Although condom use for commercial sex was the
norm (1989: 59/60: 98%; 1999: 100/103: 97%), women were not using
condoms for sex with regular partners (1989: 59/60: 98%; 1999: 100/103:
97%). In 1999, almost half of the women had ever been subject to
violent assault (49/104: 47%) and almost 40% to sexual assault while
working (44/104: 39%). Consideration should be given to the
introduction of a methadone service for prostitutes in the city with a
view to reducing their demand for illicit drugs. If their demand for
illicit drugs were reduced as a result of such a methadone programme, so
too might the amount of time they required to work to fund their drug
dependence: which would in turn reduce their vulnerability to violence
and assault.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Condom use
  • Drug use
  • Prison
  • Prostitutes
  • Sex work
  • Sexual behaviour

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  • Gail Gilchrist

  • Avril Taylor

  • David Goldberg

  • Christina Mackie

  • Andrea Denovan

  • Stephen T. Green

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