Homelessness, poverty, drug dependence, and violent victimization create the need for a variety of health and social services, yet simultaneously serve as barriers to female identified street based sex workers (SBSWs) accessing these very services. Barriers include structural and process factors (e.g. travel costs, office hours, social stigma) and individual social and clinical factors (e.g. drug use, mental stability, lack of trust and fear in the traditional healthcare system).
Women at the Aurora Commons (AC) report common, treatable ailments, yet many struggle to choose between health and basic means of survival. They identified critical healthcare needs such as: wound care, hepatitis testing/treatment, HIV treatment/prevention, sexually transmitted infection testing, Opiate agonist therapy (buprenorphine-naloxone) (OAT) for opiate use disorder, vaccinations, rape/assault evaluation, birth control, and mental health care.
The SHE Clinic was designed to address the barriers to access, and to provide the SBSW community innovative, accessible, and non-judgmental healthcare.
We believe that the most effective way to confront the disparity in our neighborhood is by cultivating community and a corresponding network of care. Only then will our neighbors and neighborhood truly flourish.