Sex work is an extremely dangerous profession that can involve drug-use and exposure to disease, violence, and exploitation. In his summary of peer-reviewed publications, Michael Rekart (University of British Colombia, Vancouver, Canada) concludes that proven harm-reduction strategies exist and can benefit sex workers. Successful interventions include peer education, training in condom-negotiating skills, safety tips for street-based sex workers, male and female condoms, and occupational health and safety guidelines for brothels.
Professor Rekart states: "The use of harm-reduction principles can help safeguard sex workers' lives in the same way that drug users have benefited from drug-use harm reduction...The scientific community can take an active role [in improving the day-to-day lives of sex workers] by using evidence-based research to pilot innovative initiatives, assess existing strategies, and develop a database of proven interventions. The participation of sex workers in this process will ensure its success."
Dr M L Rekart
BC Centre for Disease Control, STD/AIDS Control,
655 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver BC, V5Z 4R4, Canada.