Our Mission

St. James Infirmary is a peer-based occupational health and safety clinic for sex workers of all genders.
It is our mission to meet the needs of people engaged in the sex trade through advocacy, direct services, and social justice.

Sex Worker’s Health, Rights and Safety supported by Governor Newsom and California!

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Sacramento, CA – Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 233 into law - expanding proven local policies that prioritize the health and safety of people in the sex trade. SB 233 authored by Sen. Scott Wiener and sponsored by Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) – Sacramento, St. James Infirmary, Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education, and Research Project (ESLERP), Dr. Alix Lutnick and the US PROStitutes Collective gives sex workers immunity from arrest for sex work-related and minor drug offenses when they come forward as a witness to or as a victim of certain violent crimes. The new law also prohibits condoms from being used as evidence to arrest or prosecute someone for sex work-related offenses.

In addition to the sponsors, SB 233 was supported by broad coalition of advocates from the sex worker rights, harm reduction, LGBTQ rights, public health and HIV advocacy, and criminal justice movements in addition to the San Francisco County, Alameda County and Los Angeles District Attorney’s offices.

Sex workers and trafficking survivors experience and witness alarming rates of violence but too often fear reporting crimes to law enforcement in the event they themselves may be arrested or mistreated by the police. California now joins Alaska and Oregon, as well as the city and county of San Francisco and Berkeley by putting policies into place that prevent sex workers from being arrested when reporting violent crime. “This is a historic day for the sex workers in California. We now have a voice when it comes to reporting our exploitation, rapes, and other acts of violence that we have long had to endure, ” said Kristen DiAngelo, Executive Director of SWOP- Sacramento. “After 40 years in the sex trade, and being trafficked for 10 of those years, I never thought that we would see a change in my lifetime. Allowing sex workers to carry condoms and report violent offenses will be lifesaving, ” said Pearl Callahan, Outreach Director of SWOP- Sacramento.

The criminalization of sex work disproportionately impacts people of color, street-based sex workers and transgender people, with Black street-based sex workers bearing the brunt of harassment, policing and violence as a result. As the crisis of persistent violence against transgender women of color continues to escalate nationwide, the passage of SB 233 takes a critical step towards prioritizing the health and safety of some of the most marginalized Californians. “As an African-American transwoman, I am so glad we have finally gotten rid of the harmful policy of collecting condoms as evidence because of the disproportionate and negative impact on sex workers and transgender people,” said Toni Newman, Executive Director of St. James Infirmary.

The St. James Infirmary community fought for years to ban the use of condoms as evidence, and in 2013 the City of and County of San Francisco finally recognized the practice unsafely discourages sex workers from using them and passed a local policy to prohibit police and prosecutors from using them as evidence in prostitution cases. With the passage of SB 233, police and prosecutors throughout the state will no longer be able use condoms to criminalize individuals in the sex trade. “Simply put, treating condoms as evidence is unsafe. Sex workers deserve the right to safety and to control their working conditions. SB 233 is a commonsense policy change that supports the self-determination and the right of sex workers to protect themselves,” said Arneta Rogers, Reproductive Justice and Gender Equity Attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. A step towards decriminalization, we applaud Governor Newsom for signing this important bill!

SB 233 will take effect in January 2020.

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What We Believe

There are many factors which affect the working conditions and experiences for all Sex Workers including the political and economic climate, poverty and homelessness, stigmatization, violence, as well as the overwhelming intricacies of the legal, public and social systems. It is the philosophy of St. James Infirmary to build upon existing skills and strengths in order to allow individuals to determine their own goals.

  • We are fundamentally against the criminalizing of Sex Workers—regardless of our different perspectives on decriminalization or legalization, the collective view of the St. James Infirmary is that incarceration of our community further marginalizes and disenfranchised us, which creates barriers to capacity building, and exacerbates a public health crisis.
  • We believe in revolution through healthcare. We challenge the conventional healthcare model that divides patients and providers and fosters unhealthy power dynamics. Our peer-based model creates a safe, trusted, and honest environment in which to provide services, and empowers our community to define our own well-being.
  • We are founded on the principles of harm reduction—St. James Infirmary supports Sex Workers being treated with dignity and respect, in every aspect of their lives

Our Impact

  • We increase access to primary healthcare and social services for Sex Workers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • We formalize communication and collaboration among individuals and agencies who serve Sex Workers to better serve our community.
  • We promote peer-based public health initiatives on behalf of Sex Workers, which may be used as a model for improving occupational health and safety standards and developing comprehensive medical and social services for Sex Workers around the world.
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From Our Blog

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TRADIN’ FLAVOR 470 Castro Street TUESDAY, SEPT 11 6pm-8:30pm Every 2nd Tuesday of the month @ STRUT (3rd Floor)

By Toni Newman | September 10, 2018

St. James Infirmary and Strut are partnering to bring the flagship peer-run clinic program for masc-spectrum sex workers to the Castro. Drop-in services include: – priority STI screening and treatment – HIV testing & linkage to care – PrEP enrollment – peer counseling – acupuncture – food! – a place to chill out All services are free. Rentboys, escorts, massage workers, […]

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St. James Infirmary To Move To Its New Location At San Francisco Community Health Center in November 2018

By Toni Newman | September 3, 2018

St. James Infirmary To Move To Its New Location At San Francisco Community Health Center San Francisco, CA – St. James Infirmary will re-locate its offices to San Francisco Community Health Center (SFCHC) by the beginning of November 2018. This move for St. James Infirmary into the historic 726/730 Polk Street building marks a new […]

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New Development Officer

By Toni Newman | July 25, 2018

St James Infirmary would like to welcome James P Martinez to St. James as our new Development Officer. James has a MBA and over 10 years experience as a Development Director with nonprofits. Welcome to the SJI Team!

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Up Your Alley Street Fair 2018

By Toni Newman | July 6, 2018

St. James Infirmary will be operating a Juice booth at Up Your Alley Street Fair 2018 SUNDAY, July 29, 2018, FROM 11:00 AM TO 6:00 PM Folsom Street Between 9th & 10th and Between Harrison & Howard We will need volunteers to help run the booth, Please email toni.newman@stjamesinfirmary.org to sign up and be a […]

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St. James Infirmary is proud to have a team for SF AIDS Walk on July 15

By Toni Newman | June 18, 2018

Please signup, support, and donate to St. James Infirmary. Support the St. James Infirmary team! Find out more at: https://sf.aidswalk.net/…/View/65361/St-James-Infirmary-2171

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California Enacts Historic Measure To Prioritize Safety For Sex Workers Based On San Francisco’s First-In-The-Country Policies

By Toni Newman | June 14, 2018

AB 2243, inspired by San Francisco’s “Prioritizing Safety for Sex Worker” policies, amends the Evidence Code to protect a sex worker reporting a violent crime from prosecution. Yesterday afternoon, Governor Brown has signed into law AB 2243, authored by Assembly Member Laura Friedman (43rd District), which would create historic protections for sex workers who report witnessing […]

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New San Francisco Policies Prioritizing Sex Worker Safety

By Toni Newman | June 7, 2018

Dear Colleagues: We will be hosting a workshop for sex workers to explain the new Prioritizing Safety for Sex Worker policies on: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 San Francisco Main Public Library 100 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA Latino/Hispanic Room (basement level) 4.30 pm – 5.30 pm Refreshments will be provided. If you work with sex […]

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Spring newsletter 2018

By sjidirector | May 30, 2018

Here is the 2018 newsletter

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Short Message on SESTA/FOSTA and SB1204

By sjidirector | April 9, 2018

A Short Message on SESTA/FOSTA and SB 1204 As an organization that has advocated for decriminalization of all facets of the sex industry since 1999, St. James Infirmary stands in direct opposition to both SESTA / FOSTA and SB 1204. We have an obligation to not only our participants, but also to our funders, government […]

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St. James Welcomes Our New Executive Director

By sjidirector | April 2, 2018

SJI Welcomes Our New Executive Director Effective May 9th, 2018, Toni Newman will be taking over as the Executive Director for St. James Infirmary. St. James Infirmary is a peer-based occupational health and safety clinic located in San Francisco, CA, offering free, compassionate, and non-judgmental healthcare and social services for former and current sex industry […]

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