You Matter Pathways to STBBI Care – Project Update – March 2022
People who experience incarceration are disproportionately affected by STBBIs, with significantly higher rates of infections such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) among people in prison compared to the overall population. People who have experienced incarceration can also face many difficulties in getting access to testing and treatment for STBBIs, both while they are in prison and when they return to the community. There can be a lack of trust and power imbalances between people in prison and the health care staff which can make STBBI testing even more difficult, especially with respect to confidentiality and stigma.
Further challenging this, there are currently no system-wide STBBI testing and linkage to care policy and guidelines for BC correctional centres, leading to inconsistencies with STBBI testing and care within and across centres.
Since July 2020, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services (BCMHSUS) have been collaborating with key stakeholders, including people with lived/living experience of incarceration, physicians and nurses who work in corrections, and BC Corrections staff. The purpose of the collaboration is to co-develop recommended policies and guidelines for STBBI testing and linkage to care and treatment for people in BC’s provincial correctional centres. The work is being done through the ‘You Matter Pathways to Care for STBBIs’ project’ (funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada*).
To find out more about the project or to browse our recently launched website. When the STBBI testing recommendations are finalized, they will be posted on our website, along with other project outputs, so make sure to bookmark this page and check back in the Spring when it is due to be completed.
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*The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily represent those of the Public Health Agency of Canada.