Sex workers and their clients


A large proportion of sex workers will have some contact mechanism for their clients, however, contact tracing may be challenging for a proportion of sex workers, where contact details are not always known and therefore contact is not possible. However, other sex workers may have met clients online where profiles, email addresses and mobile telephone numbers are usually available, and contact is possible either by the person or by contact tracing services. 

Some may find the email or SMS notification services that are available online helpful. SeeWays of Notifying Contacts 

Sex workers face a high level of stigma and discrimination in many facets of their lives, including in healthcare. As such, contract tracing services should work sensitively with the sex worker towards the best possible outcome. Research demonstrates that sex workers in Australia have maintained high levels of condom use and low rates of BBVs and STIs.[1-3]

Contact Scarlet Alliance or the local State and Territory Sex Worker Organisations if assistance or information is required:


  1. Callander D; Cox C; Schmidt M-L; Donovan B, Kirby Institute; Sex Worker Health Surveillance: a Report to the New South Wales Ministry of Health April 2016 
  2. Zappulla A;, Fairley C K; Donovan B; Guy R; et al.; (2020) Sexual practices of female sex workers in Melbourne, Australia: an anonymous cross-sectional questionnaire study in 2017–18. Sexual Health 17, 53-60. Published: 13 January 2020 
  3. Lew C; Fairley CK; Tran J; Sexual Activities and Changes in Condom Use in Group Sex Events Among Female Sex Workers in Melbourne, Australia; Front. Public Health, 06 April 2022, Sec.Infectious Diseases – Surveillance, Prevention and Treatment


Page last updated October 2022