Resources for Sex Workers
Providing information on issues of use to the sex worker community. Currently, information includes legal fact sheets and website links, STI information and information on PrEP. This page is continually being updated, so check back again from time to time.
The information provided on the Resource Page is written by organisations who are accredited experts (eg. lawyers) and sex workers who are experts in their profession. All information has been checked for relevance and to the best of our ability checking the information contained is correct.
We’ve been contacted by people in the sex work community who are interested in producing fact sheets. When they arrive and are fact-checked etc, we shall post them immediately. If you are interested in writing a fact sheet, have a link you think we should add or an information section we haven’t covered, please send us an email
Legal Resources for Sex Workers
St Kilda Legal Service (SKLS) – based in Victoria
Legal Information for Professionals (LIP)
These are a range of fact sheets written for sex workers. The information is written by lawyers. Please check below links for the range of fact sheets available:
Dealing with Authorities – Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV)
Explains who the CAV are, identification they must show if they want to enter a sex industry premises, powers of inspection they have, complaints and conduct.
Dealing with Authorities – Local Councils
Explains what councils are responsible for, who can inspect on behalf of councils, identification they are required to have, rights of entry, reasons they may want to inspect, questioning they may engage in.
Dealing with Authorities – Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Who DHHS inspect in the sex industry, rights of entry, identification, inspection including what they are inspecting, what they can take off-premises, what they can look at, your rights in dealing with them and complaints
Dealing with Authorities – Work Safe
Who Work Safe are and what they are responsible for inspecting in the sex industry, inspections, rights of entry, identification they are required to carry, your rights, complaints
Dealing with Victoria Police (VICPol)
Police entry to premises, police identification, talking to the police, different types of searches police may use when searching you, arrests, designated areas, complaints
Rights at Work
Information on your personal property including when management can search or interfere with it, leaving property behind in a workplace, your right to work in Australia and identification, audio and visual surveillance devices, fines and bonds, your health and safety, laws on management negotiating with clients on your behalf, your right to refuse to provide services, STI check obligations, sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination and general protections claims.
Including information on stalking, personal safety intervention orders, blackmail, assault, sexual assault, rape and what steps can you take if you think a crime has been committed
Other resources by SKLS for sex workers in Victoria
Sex work in Victoria Fact Sheet: Topic: non-payment for sexual services (SKLS)
Includes information on what to do if a client doesn’t pay you for sexual services. Including sex work and the law in Victoria, creating a contract between yourself and the client, steps to take if a client hasn’t paid you, example template for letter of demand.
Revenge Porn (SKLS)
Information including what revenge porn is, legalities of revenge porn, what you should do if someone threatens to distribute revenge porn, what to do if someone has already distributed revenge porn.
Sex work and the facts (SKLS)
Information for Victorian sex worker on what is legal and illegal
Sex Work Advertising (SKLS)
Information on legalities associated with advertising in the sex industry in Victoria including what your advertisement can and cannot include.
Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) are one of the regulatory bodies for the Victorian sex industry.
The Business Licensing Authority (BLA) merged with Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) so now the BLA doesn’t exist. Everything to do with the sex industry is handled by the CAV
Laws governing sex work
Including information on legislation and regulations, who are sex work regulators and what do they regulate, links to the regulators.
Inspection of Sex Work Premises
Includes information on what can happen to licensees and managers who breach legal requirements, how often premises can be inspected, list of all regulators and agencies who may visit premises
Licensee in Effective Control of Brothels
This information details the responsibilities of brothel licensees (owners). It is useful to sex workers because it gives you an indication of what brothel owners legally need to do to operate a brothel and some of them involve you. If the brothel owners don’t do these things, you can report them to CAV for breach of license.
Includes definitions, effective control requirements, helping workers on your premises meet their legal obligations, establishing and monitoring procedures, more than one licensee, when the licensee is absent from the brothel
Sex Work Advertising, License and Signage
This information is useful to sex workers because it includes information on what you can and can’t include in an advertisement. It also discusses signage that needs to appear in a brothel room including safer sex signage. If a sign doesn’t appear in your brothel that is required, you can then ask the brothel owner to put one up or change advertising to comply.
Safety of Sex Workers, Clients and Brothel Employees
This page is useful because it tells you what a brothel or escort agency must do to ensure your safety at work and what to do if a worker is sexually assaulted. If your brothel or escort agency doesn’t comply, you can report them to CAV. For example, allowing sex workers to stop work if they feel unsafe. If a brothel coerces you into a seeing a client when you get a bad vibe from him, or if he’s a known rapist, has an STI, he’s intoxicated or for whatever reason he is making you feel unsafe, you should not have to do that job.
Information includes obligations for licensees and managers, escort agencies and communications, sexual assault
Operating a Licensed Sex Work Business: Guide for licensees and approved manager
This guide is all the requirements a sex work business must follow to be compliant. It is a VERY useful resource to sex workers working in brothels and escort agencies because it details everything the brothel or escort agency must do or they get in trouble if reported. For example, if your brothel only gives you 1 sachet of lube, 3 condoms and refuse to give you more, the rules state brothels must
- provide clients and sex workers with a free and readily accessible supply of condoms and water-based lubricant
- supply enough condoms for all sex workers and clients
This means you should be able to have access to as many condoms as you need per booking and they must be easily accessible. This means you shouldn’t have to beg a receptionist for more or be told: “I already gave you three condoms, that’s all you get per booking and if you want more, buy them yourself”. If that’s their approach to safer sex supplies, you can report them to the CAV. This resource basically lays out brothels responsibilities in running a business and if they don’t comply, you can report them.
Information on Sex Work Act (SWA) exemption registration number
How to Register as a Small Owner Operator
This page details information on registering for a Sex Work Act (SWA) exemption registration number. Includes link to SWA application form and what information you need to provide to register for an SWA. Also detailed information on what you’ll need if you’d like to open your own small owner-operated brothel including planning permit, landlord’s consent and lease agreement, interstate-based small owner-operators (touring workers) and what to do after you register.
Sex Work Act (SWA) Exemption Registration Number Application
Small owner-operator (exempt sex work service provider) registration application
This is the application form you need to fill in if you want to apply for an SWA. People who need an SWA are people who wish to work as “private workers” ie. not working for a licensed brothel or escort agency. These people advertisee themselves take their own bookings, get themselves to and from bookings, basically, you run your own business independently of licensed sex work business. If you are a touring worker and you want to work in VIC, you will need an SWA to work in Victoria.
Sex Work Act (SWA) Exemption Registration Number – Application to Maintain, Make Changes or De-register Your SWA
Maintain or Change Your Registration – small owner-operators
This page has links to the form you need to use to update your details on your SWA, put in your annual statement to keep your SWA (you need to put in a yearly statement declaring you are continuing to operate and want to keep your SWA), and link to de-register your SWA if you don’t need it anymore.
Sexual Health Resources for Sex Workers
Information You Need to Know About Accessing the Medical System
My Health Record Consumer Fact Sheet (AFAO)
This fact sheet explains what My Health Record is, what information can be uploaded, primary and secondary uses of My Health Record, informed consent and My Health Record, do you have a My Health Record, privacy settings, who can view it and under what circumstances, what are the benefits, what are the risks and can you opt-out. The fact sheet was compiled by AFAO in consultation with Scarlet Alliance, AIVL and NAPWHA.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Melbourne Sexual Health Service (MSHS) – Sexual Health Fact Sheets
This link will take you the MSHS website directory of sexual health fact sheets. The fact sheets are arranged alphabetically and many are provided in multiple languages.
Scarlet Alliance ‘Red Book’ Now Online
The Scarlet Alliance (Australian Sex Workers Association) ‘Red Book’ is an online resource, by sex workers for sex workers, on; STI’s/BBV’s, safer sex, sex worker skillshare, testing, general sexual health, STI’s/BBV’s and the law, sex work services and sex work organisations.
This website is a multicultural resource telling you about hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV and sexually transmissible infections (STIs). When you get to the website click on the part of the site that says “Choose your language” and it takes you to a list of a 100 languages you can choose from. When you’ve chosen your preferred language, it takes you to the page with information in that language. The information is provided both in a written format but also has a talk function where it will read out all information if you’d prefer to just listen.
Better to Know
This website is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women, providing information on STIs, HIV, testing, treatment and a list of clinic services. You can also provide either SMS or email details to be sent a notification of when you may be due for your next STI test.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and Blood-Borne Viruses
This resource is written for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers and details information on hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV, which are the three main blood-borne viruses. It includes how BBVs are spread, infection control procedures, obtaining informed consent, talking about test results, contact tracing, social stigma and discrimination, vaccinations, mothers and babies, treatments, how different BBVs affect the body, co-infections and where you can get further resources and information. Although it is designed for health workers, it covers the kinds of topics sex workers talk about frequently because many workers tend to want more than just basic information provided in most resources.
The Bottom Line – Gay men, HPV and Anal Cancer
This website is designed for gay men or men who have sex with men, providing information on HPV and related cancers. It details information about screening, diagnosis, vaccinations and support services.
The New Deal
A website aimed at gay men containing information about sexual transmission of hepatitis C, how to prevent it, testing and treatment of hepatitis C, and information about HIV and hepatitis C co-infection. Although the website is targeted to gay men, the information is really useful to anyone who has sex regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
An Overview of Hepatitis A, B, C, D AND E (Hepatitis Victoria)
This fact sheet provides a summary of Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E including what each is, how it is transmitted, symptoms and treatments.
Next Steps (AFAO)
This resource is for people recently diagnosed with HIV and includes peers stories of their experiences. Includes information on what is HIV, what is AIDS, transmission, living with HIV, how you can check if your HIV is progressing, the weeks after being diagnosed, deciding who to tell, having sex, having children, your rights, taking recreational drugs, treatments and support services
Us Mob and HIV (AFAO)
This book is designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It provides information on what is HIV, testing, treatments, care and support.
Living Well – Women with HIV
Information about some of the key issues for women living with HIV, including living with HIV, telling people, sex and HIV, treatment and care, your body, having children, keeping well and getting support
HIV Tests and Treatment
This website is for all people who are HIV+ and provides information on what HIV actually is, tests people take, treatment options and how drugs work, what drugs are currently available, side-effects and how they can be managed, how to get the most out of your drugs. The website also has a resource page with links to services that may be useful to people.
HIV Self-Test Fact Sheet (AFAO)
A fact sheet produced by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) on HIV self-test kits that are now for sale in Australia. The resource includes information on who should be testing themselves for HIV, what is an HIV self-test, how does it work, how accurate is it, how much does it cost, where you can get a test and what to do if you get a positive result.
Your Body Blueprint for HIV and Healthy Living
This website helps to support people with HIV to lead healthier lives, reduce the risk of illness, and enhance the quality of life. It has information to assist with relationships with friends and family, peer support, partying and recreational drug use, knowing your body, has a checklist for healthier living, a links page to social media, and an info and services page.
Tips to Live Well with HIV in Plain English (AFAO)
This resource provides important information for people living with HIV about the day-to-day management and treatment of HIV. All information in the resource has been provided by people who are HIV positive and by Doctors who treat positive people. Along with health information is also includes links to other resources you may find useful and contact information for services.
HIV and the Law
This links through to the page on the AFAO website which discusses the legalities around being HIV positive. It’s particularly important in VIC because you are not allowed to work as a sex worker if you are HIV positive. The website doesn’t go into detail about sex work and HIV, however, it is still useful for knowing other legal issues you may encounter if you are HIV positive.
This links through to the AFAO websites page where they publish links to a resource they produce once a year containing articles, audio interviews and editorials on HIV, from both a local and global perspective. If you want to know about HIV, it’s in the HIV Australia publication.
PREP – PRE-EXPOSURE PROPHYLAXIS
This is the PEP website and contains all the information you may want to know about PEP including, what is PEP, how does it work, how you get PEP and how to take PEP.
Melbourne Sexual Health Service (MSHS) and PrEP
The website links to MSHS information on what PrEP is, how to access it at MSHS, links to where else you can get PrEP, what to do if you don’t have a Medicare card, where you can buy PrEP from and how much it costs, and video on 10 things to know about PrEP
Website for gay and other men (cis or trans), non-binary inclusive, who have sex with men about PrEP. Has loads of information about PrEP and great information and a resource page with all the information you could ever want on PrEP. The services listed on the resource page include links to FaceBook support groups, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples organisations and resources, resources and organisations for men of trans experience that have sex with men. It has loads of useful information.
Prescription request for HIV PrEP – Letter for Doctor
This letter is designed to be taken to your Doctor when you’re requesting PrEP. The letter provides information to the Doctor on testing, how to prescribe PrEP and where to access PrEP. This etter was produced by the Australian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis, and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM).
On-Demand PrEP Fact Sheet
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) On-Demand PrEP Fact Sheet including who it’s suitable for and who it is not suitable for, how do you start it, how do you take it, and evidence for the effectiveness for On-Demand.
PrEP Fact Sheet in Plain English
An easy to understand fact sheet produced by the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) on PrEP. The fact sheets include an explanation of what PrEP is, how you can get it, who’s it for, what to do if you don’t have a Medicare card, can Doctor’s prescribe it, how often do you need to get an HIV & STI test done, what if you stop taking PrEP and a list of contact numbers if you require further information.
PrEP Fact Sheet in Chinese
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) PrEP fact sheet produced in a Chinese dialect.
PrEP Fact Sheet in Thai
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) PrEP fact sheet produced in Thai
PrEP Fact Sheet in Vietnamese
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) PrEP fact sheet produced in Vietnamese
PrEP Fact Sheet in Indonesian
Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) PrEP fact sheet produced in Indonesian