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BMC Int Health Hum Rights. 2016 Nov 17;16(1):30.

Condoms and sexual health education as evidence: impact of criminalization of in-call venues and managers on migrant sex workers access to HIV/STI prevention in a Canadian setting.

Author information

1
Gender and Sexual Health Initiative, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6, Canada.
2
Gender and Sexual Health Initiative, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, St. Paul's Hospital, 608-1081 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1Y6, Canada. gshi@cfenet.ubc.ca.
3
Faculty of Medicine, Univeristy of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada. gshi@cfenet.ubc.ca.
4
Faculty of Medicine, Univeristy of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite a large body of evidence globally demonstrating that the criminalization of sex workers increases HIV/STI risks, we know far less about the impact of criminalization and policing of managers and in-call establishments on HIV/STI prevention among sex workers, and even less so among migrant sex workers.

METHODS:

Analysis draws on ethnographic fieldwork and 46 qualitative interviews with migrant sex workers, managers and business owners of in-call sex work venues in Metro Vancouver, Canada.

RESULTS:

The criminalization of in-call venues and third parties explicitly limits sex workers' access to HIV/STI prevention, including manager restrictions on condoms and limited onsite access to sexual health information and HIV/STI testing. With limited labour protections and socio-cultural barriers, criminalization and policing undermine the health and human rights of migrant sex workers working in -call venues.

CONCLUSIONS:

This research supports growing evidence-based calls for decriminalization of sex work, including the removal of criminal sanctions targeting third parties and in-call venues, alongside programs and policies that better protect the working conditions of migrant sex workers as critical to HIV/STI prevention and human rights.

KEYWORDS:

Criminalization; HIV/AIDS; Migrant sex workers; Sexual health; Third party actors

PMID:
27855677
PMCID:
PMC5114757
DOI:
10.1186/s12914-016-0104-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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