Knowledge Resources & Publications

Podcast: Laverne Gervais - Exploring the determinants of syphilis in Indigenous women in Winnipeg

March 2019

In Canada, the most recent outbreaks of syphilis have mostly affected men who have sex with men. But on the Prairies, a new trend has also emerged in recent years: higher rates among heterosexual people, particularly women. One Prairie city especially hard-hit by outbreaks is Winnipeg, where cases of infectious syphilis more than doubled in 2018. These infections seem to be associated with inadequate housing and substance use, methamphetamine in particular. It’s also known that a disproportionate number of these women are Indigenous.

In this conversation, the first in a series about syphilis produced by the National Collaborating Centre for Infectious Diseases in conjunction with the National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health, we sit down with Laverne Gervais, program coordinator at Ka Ni Kanichihk and a sexual health educator. Here, she discusses the circumstances Indigenous women can face, the corresponding risk factors, as well as ways public health can better support them. She spoke with NCCID’s Jami Neufeld.

Read the full transcript on the NCCID web site