Checking male clients for visible signs of STIs

Make sure your client feels comfortable by explaining that the check is for their health as well as yours. Let them know you do it with everyone - including regulars. Clients usually appreciate the health check. Karen says she has many returning clients because they say she “makes them feel special”, “teach them things they did not know” and letting them know she “cares about them”.





Where to look

  • Check mouth for sores and blisters
  • Hold the client’s penis in your hand and examine for sores or bumps.
  • If there is hair around the genital area, rub your fingers in it and look for crab louse
  • Lift his balls and check for sores and bumps
  • Gently squeeze along the shaft of his penis to see if there is any discharge
  • Pull back the foreskin and look for mucus and any white secretion
  • Check if there is any odour when the foreskin is pulled back
  • Check around the anal area for sores and odour


Checking female clients

  • Look for bumps, sores and rashes on mouth or genitalia
  • Check for any discharge from the vagina
  • Check for discharge that is milky, thick, yellowish, grayish and/or smelly
  • Check anus for sores and bumps
  • Check pubic hair for crabs


If while checking you find something that concerns you, it is your responsibility to inform the client you will not continue the service. You can tell them to visit a health care facility before they come back.


Find out more

For more information about sex worker friendly health facilities where you can go for a sexual health check-up, contact your local sex worker organisation.