Pippa Grenfell


Research Fellow

15-17 Tavistock Place
United Kingdom

020 7958 8266

020 7927 2701

I have worked at LSHTM since 2007. My work relates to how social, cultural, economic, political and legal contexts shape the safety, health and rights of marginalised groups and communities, particularly sex workers. Methodologically, I'm interested in qualitative, participatory and interdisciplinary research approaches.

I am currently studying for a PhD in Public Health Sociology, supervised by Dr Cicely Marston. I have an MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases from LSHTM and a BSc in Biological Sciences from the University of Edinburgh.

Prior to joining LSHTM, I worked with Merlin (now Save the Children) in Myanmar and with the Health Protection Agency (now Public Health England) in the UK.



Faculty of Public Health and Policy
Department of Social and Environmental Health Research


I currently teach on and co-organize the Sexual Health MSc module at LSHTM, in conjunction with Martine Collumbien. In previous years, I have led seminars on the Principles of Social Research module and lectured on the Sexual Health module, both of which form part of the MSc in Public Health.

I tutor, supervise and advise masters students studying Public Health. I sit on the advisory group for PhD students who use qualitative and/or mixed methods to explore issues of sex work, HIV and/or sexual health.


I am currently co-leading the East London Project, with Dr Lucy Platt - a participatory mixed-methods evaluation to assess how removing sex work-related police enforcement could affect sex workers' safety, health and access to services, in East London. The project involves qualitative research, epidemiology and mathematical modelling, within a participatory research framework, with sex workers working as co-researchers and advisors. I am leading the qualitative component, under the guidance of Professor Maggie O'Neill (University of York). The project is a collaboration between LSHTM, the University of Bristol, the University of York, Imperial College and Homerton University Hospital, in partnership with Open Doors and National Ugly Mugs. It is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) from 2017-2019.

Other projects I am currently involved in include:

- A review of the qualitative, quantitative and community literature on how (de)criminalisation and policing affect sex workers' health, safety and access to care, in collaboration with Dr Lucy Platt. This project is steered by an international advisory committee of sex workers and academics, and is funded by the Open Society Foundations. 

- A Wellcome Trust Seed Award project led by Professor Teela Sanders (University of Leicester), in collaboration with Dr Lucy Platt and Dr PG Macioti (LSHTM) and Stewart Cunningham (University of Leicester), reviewing the occupational risks of sex workers in comparison to other ‘risky’ professions: mental ill-health, violence and murder. 

- The Pathways Project, a qualitative longitudinal study exploring how people living with HIV access, experience and engage in care and treatment, and how this is shaped by social and systemic contexts over time. The Principal Investigator is Professor Tim Rhodes and the lead researcher is Siri Egede; it is one component of an NIHR Health Protection Research Unit across UCL, LSHTM and Public Health England. For more information, see:…

I am also currently writing up my PhD thesis which explores how social and structural factors affect sex workers' experiences and resistance of violence and stigma, in Lima, Peru. During this research, I have worked in collaboration with Professor Carlos Caceres and Ximena Salazar at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, and with sex worker and LGBT rights activists to develop, conduct and analyse the findings of the study. 

Previously I have worked on qualitative and mixed-methods projects exploring: the social and structural determinants of sex workers' health, in London; gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men's views and experiences of the UK's blood donation rules; and the quality and accessibility of integrated HIV and TB services for people who inject drugs in Portugal. 

Research Area
Sexual health
Social and structural determinants of health
Mixed methods
Qualitative methods
Substance use
Social Sciences
Social Policy
Disease and Health Conditions
United Kingdom
European Union
Latin America & Caribbean (all income levels)

Selected Publications

Decriminalising sex work in the UK.
Grenfell, P. ; Eastham, J. ; Perry, G. ; Platt, L. ;
Men who Sell Sex in Peru: Evolving Technology and Sexual Cultures.
Caceres, C.F.; Bayer, A.M.; Gomero, A.; Grenfell, P.M.; Salazar, X.;
Men Who Sell Sex: Global Perspectives.
Systematic review examining differences in HIV, sexually transmitted infections and health-related harms between migrant and non-migrant female sex workers.
Platt, L.; Grenfell, P.; Fletcher, A.; Sorhaindo, A.; Jolley, E.; Rhodes, T.; Bonell, C.;
Sex Transm Infect
Tuberculosis, injecting drug use and integrated HIV-TB care: A review of the literature.
Grenfell, P.; Baptista Leite, R.; Garfein, R.; de Lussigny, S.; Platt, L.; Rhodes, T.;
Drug Alcohol Depend
Risk of sexually transmitted infections and violence among indoor-working female sex workers in London: the effect of migration from Eastern Europe.
Platt, L.; Grenfell, P.; Bonell, C.; Creighton, S.; Wellings, K.; Parry, J.; Rhodes, T.;
Sex Transm Infect
See all Pippa Grenfell's Publications