Background: Indoor CSW are at high risk for HIV/STI. They are invisible to the public and often ignored by service and research. Many CSW in Vancouver are migrant therefore it is critical to recognize their unique cultural characteristics determining risk. Community led initiative supports indoor CSW access to health services. Methods: In collaboration with a local AIDS service organization a survey was developed to elicit sociodemographic information, HIV/STI knowledge, and health information. Results: From Aug‘06 - Sept ’08, 129 surveys were completed by indoor CSW. 59% were migrant women primarily from Asia (79%). Inconsistent condom use, high rates of unplanned pregnancy, together with low HIV/STI knowledge scores show that indoor CSW in the sample are not adequately protected against HIV/STI. Conclusions: The development of community partnerships has been critical in gaining access and trust with the indoor CSW population. Local community organizations serve as an important bridge to public health.
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Thesis advisor: Hogg, Bob
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