Reducing sexual health inequities among vulnerable populations

The men and women who work in Canada’s off-street sex industry are an underserved and poorly understood population that represents the majority of the Canadian sex worker populace. Men and women off-street sex workers experience an array of interrelated factors known to be associated with significant morbidity and mortality including violence and victimization, economic vulnerability, limited access to health services, substance abuse, arrest, exploitation, inconsistent condom use, STI, and HIV.

Dr. Victoria Bungay’s research program seeks to contribute to the growing body of knowledge addressing the intersecting causes and contributing factors that exacerbate vulnerability for health inequities among the men and women who work in the off-street sex industry. This knowledge is critical to informing effective multi-level interventions aimed at protecting sex worker health and safety. Informed by critical perspectives on the connection between health and social issues, the research program will:

The research includes a series of ongoing and planned studies that include ethnographic methods, discourse analysis, and mixed-method designs. Bungay employs an integrated approach to knowledge translation that includes collaboration with stakeholders throughout the entire research processes. Her program of research is among the first studies in North America to examine intersections between gender, race, sexuality, and class as influential for male and female sex worker health and safety in the off-street context.