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Putu Duff
Liu Scholar; PhD Student, Population and Public Health

Putu Duff is a PhD Student at the School of Population and Public Health.  Her dissertation focuses on examining the impact of workplace-environment interventions on the reproductive health of female sex workers living in Vancouver.  Putu’s research interests include social and infectious disease epidemiology, spatial epidemiology, sex work, gender, health inequities, HIV/AIDS, reproductive and maternal health. She has worked in Canada, India, the WHO South East-Asian Region, Hawaii and Uganda and hopes to expand her regional expertise to include Indonesia, where she calls home. 

Putu currently works on the Gender and Sexual Health Initiative (GSHI) at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, though has dabbled in a variety of occupations; she has worked as a tree-planter, ornithologist, full-time snowboarder and World Health Organization worker, all of which led her to her passion for global health research.  She holds an MSc in Global Health from the University of Alberta (2008) where she explored the barriers to accessing HIV treatment among HIV positive mothers in Kabarole District, Western Uganda. She received her BSc in Biology/Philosophy from Mount Allison University in 2004.


  • Dr. Kate Shannon, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/ Department of Medicine/ School of Population and Public Health
  • Dr. Jeannie Shoveller, School of Population and Public Health

Selected Publications:

  • Putu Duff, Kathleen Deering, Kate Gibson, Mark Tyndall, Kate Shannon. Homelessness Among A Cohort of Women in Street-Based Sex Work: The Need for Safer Environment Interventions. BMC Public Health. 2011 Aug 12;11(1):61.
  • Putu Duff, Jean Shoveller, Ruth Zhang, Debbie Alexson, Julio Montaner, Kate Shannon. High Lifetime Pregnancy and Low Contraceptive Usage Among Sex Workers Who Use Drugs- An Unmet Reproductive Health Need. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2011 Aug 18;11(1):643.
  • Putu Duff, Walter Kipp, T. Cameron Wild, Tom Rubaale, Ja’akeno Okech (2010). Barriers to accessing HAART by HIV positive women attending an antenatal clinic in a regional hospital in western Uganda. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 13:37.
  • Putu Duff, Walter Kipp, T. Cameron Wild, Tom Rubaale. Barriers to Male Partner Involvement in PMTCT Programmes and HIV Testing: A Need for More Male-Friendly Services. (Under Review at AIDS Care)
  • Steve Chasey, Putu Duff, Ann Pederson (2009). Worth A Second Look: Considerations for Action on Health Inequities in British Columbia with a Sex, Gender and Diversity Lens. (Discussion paper for the Provincial Health Services Authority)

Selected Conference Presentations

  • Putu Duff, Jean Shoveller, Deborah Alexson, Jill Chettiar, Kate Shannon. The Neglected Reproductive Health Needs of Sex Workers Who Use Drugs: High Lifetime Pregnancy and Low Contraceptive Usage. International AIDS Society Conference 2011, Rome and Canadian Association for Health Research, Toronto. (Oral and poster presentation)
  • Putu Duff, Shari Allinott, Ruth Zhang, Mark Tyndall, Kate Gibson, Kate Shannon. Exchanging sex directly for crack is independently associated with elevated HIV risk among women in street-based sex work in an urban Canadian setting. 2011 International AIDS Society Conference, Rome. (Poster presentation)
  • Putu Duff, Kathleen Deering, Kate Gibson, Mark Tyndall, Kate Shannon. Homelessness Among A Cohort of Women in Street-Based Sex Work: The Need for Safer Environment Interventions. 2010 International Harm Reduction Conference, Beirut. (Poster presentation)
  • Putu Duff (2008). Improving Communication, exchange and sharing of South East Asia Region’s (SEAR) tobacco surveillance data. WHO Bloomberg Orientation Workshop, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. (Oral presentation)

Research/Teaching Experience

  • Research Assistant, Gender and Sexual Health Initiative, British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Teaching Assistant, School of Population and Public Health, UBC (Vancouver, British Columbia).
  • Data and Surveillance Specialist, British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • Contractor- Proposal Writer for International Development Engineering Projects in Morocco and Tanzania, JC&A  (Nova Scotia, Canada)
  • Contractor- Corporate Social Responsibility Manual/Proposal writer for Hugo Restrepo co. (HR)- A Colombian chili pepper company (New Delhi, India)
  • WHO Junior Professional, Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI), World Health Organization, South-East Asia Office (New Delhi, India)
  • Research Assistant for Field Irrigation Project, Nova Scotia Agricultural College Engineering Department (Truro, NS, Canada)
  • Field Ornithologist, Palila Restoration Project: United States Geological Survey, Biological Divison  (Big Island, Hawaii, USA)


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