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PrEP coverage for BC’s First Nations and Inuit communities: What is PrEP and how to access it?

November 29, 2017 by Author: Harlan Pruden, Educator, Chee Mamuk Aboriginal Program, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Good news! For First Nations who are residents of BC and receiving benefits through the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), PrEP/Truvada is a covered benefit and is available at no cost. Inuit who are residents of BC are eligible to receive PrEP/Truvada at no cost through the Non-Insured Healthcare Benefits (NIHB) program. Filling a prescription…

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Update on syphilis testing via Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

September 15, 2017 by Dr. Troy Grennan, Medical Head, Provincial STI Clinic, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Syphilis testing The primary method for diagnosing syphilis is through serologic testing. However, in certain situations, it may be appropriate and clinically-indicated to perform one of the direct tests (i.e. swab of a lesion).  Historically, the only direct tests available were darkfield microscopy and direct fluorescent antibody (DFA). Both of these tests are reliant on…

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Anal cancer screening in men

January 3, 2017 by Troy Grennan, Physician Lead, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Background Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the world. HPV is the virus that causes genital warts. Though warts can cause a lot of distress, they are typically benign and not associated with serious long-term consequences. However, certain types of HPV are high-risk and cancer-causing. These oncogenic types are…

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Addressing tucking in transgender and gender variant patients

October 20, 2016 by Jenn Matsui De Roo, MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor

Tucking is practiced by trans-feminine or other gender diverse people for a variety of reasons. Tucking may help to reduce dysphoria, make people feel more at ease in their bodies, and affirm their gender. Tucking can also be done for performance reasons by people who may or may not identify as trans, such as drag…

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Providing care to patients who practice non-monogamy

September 21, 2016 by Jenn De Roo, MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor, and Lauren Goldman, RN(C), Clinic Educator, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

What does non-monogamy actually mean? People of all genders and sexual orientations have many different ways of being sexually active outside of monogamous relationships. Some of the ways that people are sexually active include: Being single and sexually active, either intermittently or regularly, with one or more partners. Having multiple ongoing sexual and romantic relationships,…

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Kink awareness for health care professionals

July 6, 2016 by Jenn De Roo, MA, Registered Clinical Counsellor, and Lauren Goldman, RN(C), Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Introduction Many people practice kink as part of their sex life, yet health care practitioners are rarely given specific training or information about this often misunderstood aspect of sexuality. This article focuses on creating an inclusive environment for patients to discuss all aspects of their sexuality, and offers specific suggestions on how to talk about…

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Update on sexually transmitted infections in BC: June 2016

June 27, 2016 by Dr. Troy Grennan, STI Physician Lead, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Please circulate these key STI updates to your networks. Benzathine penicillin (Bicillin L-A) is once again available in Canada Several months ago, Pfizer Canada – the sole Canadian manufacturer of Bicillin L-A – announced that it would be temporarily ceasing production of this drug. As a result, interim guidelines for the treatment of syphilis were…

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New cervical cancer screening recommendations for BC

June 24, 2016 by Cheryl Prescott, Senior Practice Leader, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

The BC Cancer Agency has released new recommendations for cervical cancer screening. Some highlights of the new recommendations are: First age for Pap testing is 25 years old (regardless of sexual debut) Subsequent screenings for normal Pap results are every 3 years Follow-up for minor abnormal Pap results is in 1 year For more details,…

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Syphilis treatment guidelines during the Bicillin shortage (2016)

April 29, 2016 by Cheryl Prescott, Senior Practice Leader, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued interim syphilis treatment guidelines to be used during the current Benzathine Penicillin G (Bicillin L-A) shortage.  These guidelines are available in PDF format for download under the Additional Resources section below. These interim guidelines have also been posted in Chapter 5 of the BCCDC Communicable Disease Manual….

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Introducing Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) for Trichomonas vaginalis

December 3, 2015 by Cheryl Prescott, Senior Practice Leader, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

The Public Health Microbiology Reference Laboratory at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC PHMRL) has implemented nucleic acid testing (NAT) for Trichomonas vaginalis using the FDA-approved Aptima Trichomonas vaginalis assay. The new DNA test offers both increased sensitivity and specificity as compared to microscopy. This means the test is better able to correctly identify…

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