Health Effects of Prostitution
The sex of prostitution is physically harmful to women in prostitution. STDs (including HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, human papilloma virus, and syphilis) are alarmingly high among women in prostitution. Only 15% of the women in the Minneapolis/St. Paul study had never contracted one of the STDs, not including AIDS. General gynecological problems, but in particular chronic pelvic pain and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), plague women in prostitution.
The emotional health consequences of prostitution include severe trauma, stress, depression, anxiety, self-medication through alcohol and drug abuse, and eating disorders. Almost all the women in the Minneapolis/St. Paul study categorized themselves as chemically-addicted. Crack cocaine and alcohol were used most frequently. Ultimately, women in prostitution are also at special risk for self-mutilation, suicide, and homicide. 46% of the women in the Minneapolis/St. Paul study had attempted suicide, and 19% had tried to harm themselves physically in other ways.