The impact of laws and policing on sex workers’ lives


This project is a collaboration between the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the University of York, the Homerton Hospital, Imperial College and the University of Bristol. It is led by Lucy Platt and co-led by Pippa Grenfell, at LSHTM.

Lucy Platt is an associate professor in Public Health Epidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, with expertise in the epidemiology of sex workers’ health and safety. She has been working with sex workers in research for over 15 years. She will oversee the management of the project, lead the surveys (B) and the overall mixed-method study design.

Pippa Grenfell is a research fellow/sociologist at LSHTM, who has been carrying out participatory qualitative research with sex workers for 9 years. She will lead on the qualitative study (A) and the participatory research approach, and co-leads management of the project


Peter Vickerman, professor in Infectious Disease Modelling at the University of Bristol. He has extensive expertise in modelling the transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among vulnerable populations including among sex workers, and the impact of interventions on HIV and hepatitis C transmission. He will lead the modelling analysis of the project (C).


Marie-Claude (MC) Boily, professor in Mathematical Epidemiology at Imperial College. MC contributes extensive expertise in evaluation of large scale interventions, the modelling of HIV and sexually transmitted infections among vulnerable populations and innovative model development of structural factors and intervention among key populations. She has pioneered model development to quantify plausible impact of criminalisation and violence on HIV among sex workers.

Maggie O’Neil, professor in Sociology (Criminology) at the University of York, will advise on the qualitative study (A) and the wider participatory research approach. She is an applied criminologist with over 25 years of experience of participatory research with sex workers.


Sarah Creighton, GUM (genitourinary medicine) consultant at Homerton Hospital, will advise on providing testing and treatment to survey participants (B). She has extensive experience of providing healthcare services to sex workers in East London.

James Hargreaves, professor in Epidemiology and Evaluation at LSHTM, will advise on the overall implementation of the project. He has expertise in evaluation methods, including in relation to sex work.



Georgina Perry, Chair of the National Ugly Mugs Board will advise on meeting and keeping in contact with potential study participants (A & B), as well as on study design, interpretation and community engagement. She managed Open Doors in East London for 15 years.

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