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Health and wellbeing

Charis believes that everyone has a right to sexual health, and sexual health information including public policy that supports sexual health.
Sexual Health doctor

We recognise that for many people working in the sex industry your sexual health is a high priority for many reasons, not least of all because your livelihood could depend on it.

We do not in any way want to be patronising by the information we put on this page, but we also acknowledge for some people it may be useful to have some information about sexual health to read.

Lots of people have questions about sex and sexual health, relationships and pregnancy. Sexual Health Hertfordshire provide a range of services at their clinics that can help with these questions.

The sexual health clinics are based in three main locations in Hertfordshire; Hatfield, Stevenage and Watford.

Sexual health clinics are free to anyone, regardless of immigration status. Your records at the clinic are confidential. They are not linked with GP records or other health records without your consent. You do not have to show proof of ID.

Sexual Health and contraception services are also available from other community services e.g. GP, Pharmacists and Youth Services all over the county.

If you would like us to support you to access a sexual health clinic or if you have any questions about the services that are offered please do contact us.

SH:24 is a website commissioned by NHS Trusts, it offers free sexual health testing as well as health advice and information about contraception.


Condoms are the number one method offering protection against STIs.

Charis offers free condoms & lube to anyone who is working in the sex industry.

Do contact us if you need any and we can arrange to give them to you in person or to post them to you, whichever you prefer.

How do I look after my sexual health?

  • Using condoms for vaginal, oral and anal sex will help to protect against STI’s and pregnancy.
  • Using lube will help prevent condoms splitting and reduce the risk of damage to your vagina or anus during sex.
  • You can protect yourself against Hepatitis B with a course of vaccinations, which you can get at a sexual health clinic.
  • Regular 3 monthly check-ups. If you don't know that you have an infection and it is therefore left untreated it can make it easier to catch another infection (including the HIV virus).
  • PEP is a treatment you can take within 72 hours of a condom breaking or having unprotected sex if you believe you may have come in contact with the HIV virus. PEP is available from sexual health clinics or from A&E if they assess you as being high risk.
  • If you do not feel able to use condoms (or are not given the choice) or have regular unprotected anal sex, you could talk to a clinic Health Advisor to see if PrEP is an option to help prevent HIV.
  • Emergency contraception is available to purchase from chemists. If you are under 25, emergency contraception is free.
Pregnancy test

Pregnancy testing and support if you think you might be pregnant

Wondering if you are pregnant or not, can be a very stressful thing to go through; whether you’re hoping for a positive test or a negative one.

The Charis team are happy to support you through this process and have pregnancy tests that they can offer for free to anyone who is working in the sex industry - do just ask us if you need one.

Sexual Health Hertfordshire have kindly given us some dual testing kits for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.

Please let us know if you would like one of these tests to carry out and complete yourself. We can arrange to give you the testing kit in person or post it to you, if you prefer.

Charis will not be informed about your test results - it is up to you what you share with us (if anything) about your sexual health.

Anything that you tell us, at Charis, about your sexual health will be kept strictly confidential; unless it involves a safeguarding issue.

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Sexual health check up

If you think you may be at risk of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) you should have a sexual health check up.

You are at risk if:

  • you didn’t use a condom for sex while working, whether it was oral sex, vaginal sex or anal sex.
  • a condom broke or came off when you were having sex
  • you have a new sexual partner

You should also have a check up if you have symptoms of an infection such as:

  • unusual discharge
  • abdominal pain
  • bleeding after sex or in-between your periods
  • itching or soreness
  • ulcers or blisters on the genital region
  • lumps on the genital region

Charis believes that everyone has a right to sexual health, and sexual health information including public policy that supports sexual health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), considers sexual health an essential dimension of human health and well-being. From concern over how to have comfortable, enjoyable sex to questions about testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their prevention, many important topics come under the broad umbrella of sexual health.