Confidentiality

Confidentiality and consent

We will protect all participants’ anonymity at all times. We will never use participants’ names or any other details that could potentially identify them in any reports or presentations about the project; and participants do not have to tell us their real name. Before people take part in the qualitative and cohort study (A & B), we will give them full details of the project to help them decide if they want to take part, and we will be there to answer any questions. Participants do not have to answer any questions that they do not want to answer, and they are free to withdraw from the study at any time, without having to give a reason.

What participants receive

For each interview or questionnaire people take part in, they will receive £20 (cash) in appreciation of their time contribution. We will also offer participants information on appropriate health, support, social care, legal and other services. If a participant decides to take up the offer of HIV/STI testing as part of the cohort study and receives a positive test result, we will help them access treatment via our collaborators, Open Doors and Homerton Hospital (see Team and Collaborators).

Approvals

Each stage of the research will begin only when we have received relevant ethical and research governance approvals from LSHTM and the NHS (we have already received this for the qualitative study). All researchers interviewing sex workers in NHS services (e.g. Open Doors clinics, drop-ins and outreach) will have Research Passports or honorary contracts with Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and will have appropriate clearance from all collaborating NHS Trusts.