UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The street cost of drugs and drug use patterns : relationships with sex work income in an urban Canadian setting. Deering, Kathleen N.; Shoveller, Jean; Tyndall, Mark; Montaner, Julio; Shannon, Kate

Abstract

BACKGROUND: This study investigated the relationship between drug use and sex work patterns and sex work income earned among street-based female sex workers (FSWs) in Vancouver, Canada. METHODS: We used data from a sample of 129 FSWs who used drugs in a prospective cohort (2007-2008), for a total of 210 observations. Bivariate and multivariable linear regression using generalized estimating equations was used to model the relationship between explanatory factors and sex work income. Sex work income was log-transformed to account for skewed data. RESULTS: The median age of the sample at first visit was 37 years (interquartile range[IQR]: 30-43), with 46.5% identifying as Caucasian, 48.1% as Aboriginal and 5.4% as another visible minority. The median weekly sex work income and amount spent on drugs was $300 (IQR=$100-$560) and $400 (IQR=$150-$780), respectively. In multivariable analysis, for a 10% increase in money spent on drugs, sex work income increased by 1.9% (coeff: 0.20, 95% CIs: 0.04-0.36). FSWs who injected heroin, FSWs with higher numbers of clients and youth compared to older women (

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International