PhD graduate Kat Kolar on HIV Prevention in Indoor Sex Markets

PhD Candidate Kat Kolar, in collaboration with Vicky Bungay (UBC), Soni Thindal, Valencia Remple (UBC), Caitlin Johnston, and Gina Ogilve, published an article in Health Promotion Practice. The authors find that there is an urgent need for HIV/STI prevention initiatives among commercial sex workers. They offer recommendations for programs to address this need in various communities.

Kat Kolar obtained her PhD in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2018. Her dissertation is titled Differentiating the Drug Normalization Framework: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Substance Use among Undergraduate Students in Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UBC researching the social integration of substance use and health inequities impacting people who use illicit drugs.

We have posted the citation and abstract from the article below. The full text is available through the University of Toronto Library Portal here.

Bungay, Vicky, Caitlin Johnston, Kat Kolar, Gina Ogilve, Valencia Remple, and Soni Thindal. 2012. “Community-Based HIV and STI Prevention in Women Working in Indoor Sex Markets.” Health Promotion Practice, 14(2):247-255.

Community research into women’s experiences in the indoor commercial sex industry illustrated an urgent need for sexually transmitted infection (STI) and HIV education, prevention, testing, and treatment and culturally appropriate services to support the sexual and reproductive health of commercial sex workers (CSWs). This work also revealed that a high number of immigrant—primarily Asian—women are involved in the indoor sex industry. In response, the authors developed a community–academic research partnership to design and implement a blended outreach research program to provide STI and HIV prevention interventions for indoor CSWs and their clients. This Community Health Worker Model HIV Prevention and Health Promotion Program incorporated health education, primary care referrals, STI testing using self-swab techniques, and a point-of-care HIV screening test. Here the authors report on program implementation, design, and the experiences of participants and team members and provide research and vaccination recommendations for future work in this area. This work work affirms that community-based service providers can be a key entry point for indoor CSWs to access health care and sexual health promotion and education and may be a solution to missed opportunities to provide culturally and contextually appropriate education and services to this population.

Read the full article here.