Perceived health needs of inner-city street prostitutes: a preliminary study

Am J Health Behav. Jan-Feb 2001;25(1):50-9. doi: 10.5993/ajhb.25.1.6.


Objective: To survey inner-city prostitutes' perceived health needs.

Methods: One hundred forty street prostitutes in Washington DC, were surveyed to determine their perceived health needs, in addition to levels of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Results: The final sample comprised 100 individuals, representing 3 subgroups of prostitutes, female, male, and transgender male. Major health needs included protection from physical and sexual assault, social support, counseling, addictions treatment, job training, and medical care. Over 42% of the population was identified as meeting established criteria for PTSD.

Conclusion: Effective program development for inner-city prostitutes needs to acknowledge the presence of distinct subpopulations and the pervasive influence of PTSD on health status.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • District of Columbia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand*
  • Health Status
  • Homeless Persons / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Poverty Areas*
  • Preventive Health Services*
  • Sex Work* / psychology
  • Social Work*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data