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“The Corner”: A safe space for sex workers

April 8, 2019 by Martina Gueorguieva, BScN student, and Chelsea Sylvester, BScN student

Background The Corner, formerly known as ‘Boys R Us’, is a Vancouver drop-in support and referral program that provides a safe space for men and gender-diverse (including transgender, non-binary, and Two-Spirit) people who work or have worked in the sex trade. Participants gather weekly to eat, socialize, and access community-based resources and services, including workshops,…

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GetCheckedOnline.com mitigates barriers faced by HIV and STI testers: A comparison of online and clinic clients

February 22, 2019 by Travis Salway, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

Background GetCheckedOnline (GCO) is an internet-based testing service for sexually-transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBI), launched by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) in 2014 and operated in partnership with regional health authorities. Clients have tested through GCO more than 12,000 times over the past four years. A number of research and evaluation projects…

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GetCheckedOnline.com is working well for some groups of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men

January 14, 2019 by Rod Knight, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Background Internet-based testing services can contribute to the spectrum of services that are needed to reduce barriers to care among young gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM). Yet, as noted previously, there are relatively few evaluations of ‘live’ internet-based interventions for young gbMSM. We recently published findings from the first…

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Higher risk of HPV vaccine failure in the first two years for women living with HIV

November 22, 2018 by Elisabeth McClymont, PhD Candidate, University of British Columbia

Background Women living with HIV are more likely to be infected with the human papillomavirus (the virus that causes cervical cancer). Not only is HPV infection double in women living with HIV compared to women without HIV, but rates of invasive cervical cancer are 4 times greater in women living with HIV. HPV vaccines have…

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Effect of opioid-substitution therapy and mental health counseling on HIV risk among hepatitis C-infected individuals

November 5, 2018 by Dr. Zahid Butt, University of British Columbia and BC Centre for Disease Control

Background Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV infection commonly co-occur because of shared transmission routes and risk behaviors. HIV infection among individuals living with HCV is a major predictor of morbidity and mortality. Risk factors for HCV co-infection among people living with HIV include injection drug use (IDU), alcohol use, unsafe sex among gay, bisexual…

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HPV testing detects cervical pre-cancer earlier than the Pap smear

August 28, 2018 by Laurie W. Smith, Research Program Manager, HPV FOCAL and HPV Related Diseases Research

Background Virtually all cases of cervical cancer are caused by high-risk HPV types. In most cases, HPV is transient and spontaneously regresses without any implications. In a small percentage of the population, an HPV infection can persist for many years and can cause cell changes that may become cancerous. HPV testing detects HPV DNA, and…

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Help UBC recruit for a study into young men’s sexual lives

August 10, 2018 by Anna Carson, Research Coordinator, Youth Sexual Health Team, UBC School of Population and Public Health

Background STI/HIV incidence continues to rise, particularly among subgroups of young men who have sex with men. New STI/HIV interventions are being created to address the escalating needs of young men. However, few studies have examined how features of sociocultural contexts affect young men’s uptake of new STI/HIV interventions. For example, the availability of effective…

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Optimal strategies for the diagnosis and treatment of acute or chronic hepatitis B infection in British Columbia

July 31, 2018 by Mawuena Binka, Research Associate, University of British Columbia and BC Centre for Disease Control

Background Hepatitis B (HBV) is a vaccine-preventable infection. People who have not been vaccinated, however, may become infected through contact with the body fluids of an HBV-infected person. While the early stages of HBV infection may be characterized by non-specific symptoms in some, many people are asymptomatic. Consequently, people living with acute HBV may progress…

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High Demand for Hepatitis C Education among BC Providers

July 16, 2018 by Terri Buller-Taylor, Research Manager, Hepatitis Education Canada, and Liza McGuinness, Project Manager, Hepatitis Education Canada

Background Patient and provider hepatitis C (HCV)-related knowledge gaps, present at every point on the HCV illness and care journey, are associated with lower care engagement.[1,2] Education  is key for increased service uptake, especially since new treatments have >95% cure rates and can significantly reduce morbidity and mortality associated with chronic HCV infection.[3] Education needs-assessment…

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What are the mental health-related needs of bisexual people?

June 13, 2018 by Travis Salway, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UBC School of Population and Public Health and BC Centre for Disease Control, and Lori Ross, Associate Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Background Much of what we know about the health of sexual minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, two-spirit (LGBQ2), and other non-heterosexual groups) fails to account for meaningful differences within sexual minority populations. While recent decades have seen major advances in the visibility of gay and lesbian people, bisexual people remain a largely invisible group, despite…

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