WEIGHT: 49 kg
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Objective: A pilot study was designed to determine the general health problems of inner city sex workers. Sample: The researchers worked with an agency that provides outreach services to these sex workers. Through this agency, they had access to a purposive sample of sex workers in a large Midwest city. Methods: Nonparticipant observation was used to gather information about their health problems, the nature of information they may need, and the barriers to obtaining health care and health information.
They identified a number of physical or psychological problems, such as rape, depression, and tuberculosis. A major barrier to health care is a lack of information about where to go for treatment or how to obtain health insurance. Conclusions: More research needs to be done by library and information science professionals to determine the information needs of sex workers and the agencies that provide them with health and social services. Most women do not choose prostitution; rather, they are forced into this type of work because of drug addiction, poverty, or lack of education [ 2 , 3 ].
No library and information science LIS studies and few in other social sciences have determined the general health problems of women whose occupation is sex work. Based on the theory of sense making discussed below , two of the authors Baker and Case conducted a pilot study of female sex workers in a large Midwestern city. The objective of the study was to ascertain general health problems and potential health information needs of inner city women whose occupation is sex work. In some of the studies about this disease, other health problems have been identified.
Carr [ 6 ] describes the Drop-in Centre established in Glasgow in to provide health services to street sex workers. Staff assumed that the women's needs would include contraception and HIV prevention; however, they quickly realized that the women had many medical problems, such as STDs, dental problems, scabies, drug-related abscesses, and arterial thrombosis.
Carr states that sex workers who use drugs often neglect their health and seek care only when they are in the advanced stages of an illness. She states that her findings debunk the myth that STDs are the main health problem of sex workers and, further, that health care professionals need to rethink the provision of health care for sex workers. In their study of risk behaviors for HIV, Faugier, Cranfield, and Sargeant [ 8 ] interviewed drug-using and 50 non-drug-using female sex workers in Manchester, England.