Decriminalisation benefits sex workers’ health

Workers in metropolitan brothels had near 100% condom usage, and rates of STIs were comparable to levels in the general population, the report said.

Mental health was also largely comparable to that of the general public.

“However, 10% of Sydney women [brothel workers] were found to be severely distressed on psychological testing: twice as often as the general population,” said the report led by the University of NSW’s Kirby Institute.

“Psychological distress was strongly associated with injecting drug use.”

Prevalence of chlamydia (2.8%), gonorrhoea (0%), Mycoplasma genitalium (3.6%) and trichomoniasis (0.7%) among brothel workers was “at least as low as the general population”.

Sydney brothel workers were better educated than peers in Melbourne or Perth, and were more likely have an Asian or other non-English speaking background.

The NSW model of