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Current practice

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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. 

BCCDC Public Health Laboratory Update: STIBBI Serological Specimens

August 23, 2019 by BCCDC Public Health Laboratory

Given recent changes in testing methods and lab procedures, the BCCDC Public Health Laboratory (PHL) has made processing of STIBBI serological specimens more efficient. When drawing blood for any or all of the tests below, only 1 full* yellow/gold top tube (SST: serum separator tube) is required. *Note: If the tube is less than 2/3…

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Revisions to the BCCDC Non-Certified Practice Sexual Assault Decision Support Tools

July 9, 2018 by Geoffrey Ford, HIV/STI Senior Practice Lead, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

A number of changes have been made to the BCCDC Communicable Disease Control Manual, Chapter 5: Sexually Transmitted Infections: Section 1: STIs.  The BCCDC Non-Certified Practice Decision Support Tools have been updated with the following: Dispensing Prophylactic Medications Post Sexual Assault (June 2018) Core Nursing Practice Competencies for Dispensing Prophylactic Medications Post Sxual Assault (June…

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PrEP talk: An update on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis

December 12, 2017 by Malcolm Hedgcock, MD, Spectrum Health, Vancouver, BC

Background Behavioral interventions have been effective at lowering HIV transmission rates in British Columbia. Along with treatment as prevention, they remain the cornerstone of HIV prevention. However, infection rates have plateaued for the last 5 years and new interventions are needed to reach those individuals not captured by current prevention strategies. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is…

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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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