There are marked differences between men, women, and gender-diverse people in terms of their drug use and how laws and policies affect them. However, insufficient attention is paid to the needs of women and gender-diverse people who use drugs and their access to health services, including harm reduction services. This is especially true for gender-diverse people who use drugs, for whom there is a troubling lack of data. Consequently, they face additional barriers to harm reduction and other health services and are at increased risk of HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, as well as other injection-related harms, overdose, and death.
This summary report highlights the state of harm reduction services in Canada in the context of gender and reviews the impacts on women and gender-diverse people that have been largely ignored until now.