In 2007 and 2008 the Law and Sexual Health (LASH) study surveyed sex workers in commercial sex work businesses In Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Three capital cities were chosen for their different legal climates: Melbourne, where sex work is only decriminalised in licensed brothels (licensing), otherwise it remains illegal; Perth, where sex work remains criminalised; and Sydney, where most form of adult sex work are decriminalised, without licensing.
Through legal research we determined the laws and the level of policing of those laws in Victoria, WA, and NSW. We also mapped the female brothel-based sex industry in each city. Brothels were chosen at random, with a survey target of 200 sex workers in each city. Each brothel was repeated approached until every sex worker consented to participate or refused. Each participating sex worker completed a questionnaire that was available in 4 languages. Those women were then offered testing for chlamydia, gonorrhoea, Mycoplasma genitalium infection, and trichomoniasis. Comparisons were made between cities.