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Logo of brjgenpracRCGP homepageJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralBJGP at RCGPBJGP at RCGP
Br J Gen Pract. 2010 July 1; 60(576): 514–516.
PMCID: PMC2894380

Can a targeted GP-led clinic improve outcomes for street sex workers who use heroin?

Jane Litchfield, BMBS, F1 Doctor
Chesterfield Royal Hospital, Derby
Andrew Maronge, BMBS, F1 Doctor
Kings Mill Hospital, Belper
Tim Rigg, BMBS, F1 Doctor
University Hospital Lewisham, London
Benjamin Rees, BMBS, F1 Doctor and Ravi Harshey, BMBS, F2 Doctor
University Hospitals, Nottingham
Jenny Keen, BA, MSc, MRCGP, Special Lecturer


Female street sex workers in the UK are often addicted to heroin, and sex work may be a result of the economic drive to fund this addiction. This study looks at outcomes of a primary care drugs treatment intervention for street sex workers who use heroin, using prescribed maintenance treatment with intensive health and psychosocial support. Thirty-four sex workers entered the study and 100% were retained in the study at 1 year. After 1 year, only 33% of participants were still sex workers. Quality of life had improved significantly and heroin use had reduced.

Keywords: drug misuse, heroin, primary care, prostitution, sex work

Articles from The British Journal of General Practice are provided here courtesy of Royal College of General Practitioners