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STI updates are blog posts from the BCCDC or our community partners about a variety of sexual health topics. These include program updates, clinical practice changes, new research, events, and more. We will not clutter your inbox with frequent emails, and your email address will not be used for any other purposes. 


Structural barriers & facilitators to the ongoing implementation of GetCheckedOnline

February 10, 2022 by Oralia Gómez-Ramírez (BC Centre for Disease Control, University of British Columbia, CIHR Canadian HIV Trials Network), Mark Gilbert (BC Centre for Disease Control, University of British Columbia), Daniel Grace (University of Toronto)

Background GetCheckedOnline is a comprehensive internet-based testing service for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) available in select communities in British Columbia (BC), Canada, first implemented in 2014. The Digital Sexual Health Initiative team led by Dr. Mark Gilbert at the BC Centre for Disease Control conducted a study to understand the macro-level structural barriers and facilitators to…

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Addressing sexual health-related anxiety among sexual health service users

February 10, 2021 by Sarah Watt, Faculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University

Background Anxiety and other mental health concerns are common among people accessing sexual health services, many of whom are not connected to mental health supports(1). A team of researchers from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and Simon Fraser University developed ‘Supporting and addressing anxiety in sexual health care: A resource for providers’, which…

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HIV/STI risk calculators: What do online users want?

January 31, 2021 by Oralia Gómez-Ramírez, Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of British Columbia; Hsiu-Ju Chang, Research Manager, BC Centre for Disease Control

Background Risk calculators for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) use responses to sociodemographic (e.g., age, sex, ethnicity, geographic location), health status, or behavioural questions to estimate a person’s risk for developing or acquiring STIs. They can also inform the most appropriate action for users to take. Identifying features for online risk calculators that…

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Sex in the time of COVID-19: Preliminary results from a recent survey

November 16, 2020 by Aidan Ablona, BCCDC; Hsiu-Ju Chang, BCCDC; Daniel Grace, University of Toronto; Cathy Worthington, University of Victoria; Jason Wong, BCCDC; Gina Ogilvie, BCCDC; Mark Gilbert, BCCDC

Background The Digital Sexual Health Initiative team conducted a survey to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people’s sex lives, their access to sexual health services, and whether alternate ways of delivering sexual health services would be acceptable. The results will help inform possible changes & decisions on sexual health services in British Columbia…

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Ending conversion therapy in Canada: Dialogue and report on sexual orientation & gender identity or expression change efforts

February 20, 2020 by Travis Salway, Assistant Professor, Health Sciences, Simon Fraser University, Affiliated Researcher, BC Centre for Disease Control and Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity

Background The Centre for Gender and Sexual Health Equity, in collaboration with the Community-Based Research Centre, No Conversion Canada, Born Perfect, the BCCDC, BCCDC Foundation for Public Health, and Simon Fraser University, released a new report describing ongoing conversion therapy practices, also known as sexual orientation and gender identity or expression change efforts (SOGIECE) in…

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Progress on the hepatitis C virus care cascade in BC, and gaps to reaching the 2030 elimination targets

October 30, 2019 by Sofia Bartlett, Postdoctoral Fellow, Clinical Prevention Services, BC Centre for Disease Control

Background Globally, death and illness from hepatitis C are increasing despite new medications, which are called Direct Acting Antivirals (DAAs), that cure over 95% of people treated. The World Health Organization has set targets for the elimination of hepatitis C as a public health threat by the year 2030. Progress is measured across a ‘care…

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Ocular syphilis in British Columbia – Re-emergence of an old disease

October 15, 2019 by Hasan Hamze, Medical Student, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Medicine

Background Infectious syphilis rates in British Columbia (BC) are the highest they’ve been in 30 years from 2018 data [1]. Males account for the majority of cases, and in 2016 gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) represented 86% of new cases [2] – gbMSM living with HIV are disproportionately burdened….

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MyPostCare: An online resource to support self-management of post-procedure care following an abortion

July 29, 2019 by Ciana Maher, Research Program Manager, Digital Health, Women’s Health Research Institute

Background One in three females in Canada will undergo an abortion during their lifetime. Some people experience stigma, shame and physical symptoms after an abortion, underscoring the importance of post-procedure care. Most clinics will schedule a follow-up visit post-procedure along with oral instructions and printed resources. However, most abortion services in Canada are only available…

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Cyberbullying among Gay and Bisexual Men in Canada

July 17, 2019 by Simon Lam, Community-Based Research Centre for Gay Men’s Health

Background Cyberbullying, defined by the RCMP as the “use of communication technology…to repeatedly intimidate or harass others” [1], has been increasing. In Canadian studies, 5% to 30% of adults have experienced incidents of cyberbullying [2, 3]. Among gay and bisexual Canadians, the rate is at least twice as high [4]. Gay and bisexual people face…

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What can a critical social research approach offer HIV implementation science? A case study of GetCheckedOnline

June 4, 2019 by Daniel Grace, Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto

Background In the field of HIV research, implementation science has become an essential organizing framework. It compels academics, practitioners, and community members to collaborate and creatively strategize how to incorporate evidence-based public health interventions and practices within appropriate community and clinical settings. But what does implementation science look like in the everyday world? And how…

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