The first health care clinic run "by sex workers for sex workers" is 20 years old – The Hill

Posted: December 11, 2019 at 4:50 am

Founded in 1999, St. James Infirmary is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that provides free and confidential health care for sex workers. Recognizing the need for more compassionate care for sex workers, two associations, Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics (COYOTE) and the Exotic Dancers Alliance (EDA), founded the clinic in collaboration with the San Francisco Department of Public Health STD Control and Prevention Section. Its billed as an Occupational Health and Safety Clinic run by and for Sex Workers, past or present.

According to its website, St. James Infirmary provides upwards of 1,000 health care services to 300 unique patients, a syringe distribution and collection program, as well as education and training workshops that hundreds of sex workers attend, all in addition to basic primary care. The intention behind these classes is to dispense information about sexual health to take a more preventativemeasurewhen it comes public health and safety, rather than a punitive approach that results in jail time.

Named after the prolific sex-positive advocate Margo St. James, she, along with Carol Stuart and Jefferey Klausner, spearheaded activist collaboration, as profiled by a Jezebel interview. The clinic was immediately flooded with patientsdue to its welcoming and nonjudgmental atmosphere.

Speaking to Jezebel, Scarlett Paradise, a transgender woman, was given fundamental shelter and clothing at St. James. She said without the emotional support and sense of community St. James Infirmary offers, she wouldnt have survived.

The clinic is still running strong in San Francisco today, with a reported annual budget of $1 million dollars and moved its location to the Tenderloin District in San Francisco.It is expanding its services to counseling and mental health programs, hormone therapy, as well as partnering with OBGYN student residents from the University of California, San Francisco. St. James welcomes people of all sexual orientations, races, genders and backgrounds.

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The first health care clinic run "by sex workers for sex workers" is 20 years old - The Hill

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