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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. 

Treatment of acute HIV infection: potential benefits of early antiretroviral therapy

February 5, 2015 by David Moore, Physician Lead, STOP HIV, Provincial Health Services Authority

Background Since 2009, BCCDC has been using a more sensitive HIV test (known as the NAAT – nucleic acid amplification test) for patients who present for HIV testing at several clinics in downtown Vancouver.   These clinics – the BCCDC clinic on Bute Street, the Health Initiative for Men clinics on Davie and Commercial Drive,…

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Can clients consent for health care if they have been using drugs or alcohol?

January 20, 2015 by Darlene Taylor, Research Program Manager, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Background According to the law in British Columbia, every person 19 years of age and older has the right to give or refuse consent to health care when it is being offered, provided they have the capacity to consent.**      In obtaining informed consent for health care, clinicians should communicate how the clients will benefit…

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What are the strongest risk factors for STIs?

November 13, 2014 by Titilola Falasinnu, MHS, School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia

Background Numerous research studies have explored the association between risk behaviors and infection with an STI. From a clinician’s perspective, the decision to recommend testing to a patient for a particular STI is usually informed by testing recommendations from public health organizations, such as the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). However, from this multitude…

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How understanding testing patterns can inform recommendations for HIV testing

September 5, 2014 by Mark Gilbert, Physician Epidemiologist, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Background Populations with a higher prevalence of HIV infection, such as gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men (MSM) or people who use injection drugs (IDU), are often recommended to get an HIV test at least once a year.  Many countries recommend more frequent HIV testing for people at ongoing risk, ranging…

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Understanding the drivers of the HIV epidemic among gay and bisexual men in BC

July 18, 2014 by Mark Gilbert, Physician Epidemiologist, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Background This week, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer in collaboration with the BC Centre for Disease Control released a report titled “HIV, Stigma and Society”. The report examines the underlying drivers of the current HIV epidemic among gay and bisexual men* in BC, in order to understand why new HIV diagnoses in this…

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Prenatal Screening for Syphilis, HIV and Hepatitis C in BC

June 27, 2014 by Margot Kuo, Epidemiologist, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Introduction In BC, syphilis and HIV testing are recommended for all women at prenatal screening for optimal clinical care and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of these infections. Prenatal HIV screening has been universal since 1994, due to the growing number of BC women living with HIV and the effectiveness with which transmission to the baby…

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What impact can text messaging have on the treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted infections?

May 21, 2014 by Petra Lolić, Researcher, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Background Researchers at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) are hoping to determine whether text messaging is a useful tool for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (STI). The capacity for instant communication is increasing worldwide, and technologies like text messaging and social media are changing how we interact with each other….

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The use of oral zinc for the treatment of genital warts

May 1, 2014 by Darlene Taylor, Research Program Manager, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Introduction In Canada, it is estimated that 75% of individuals will have at least one HPV infection (the virus that causes genital warts) in their lifetime.[1] Genital warts most commonly occur from HPV subtypes 6 and 11 and can appear weeks or months after exposure to the virus. The highest number of new HPV infections…

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Insight into HIV transmission risk when the viral load is undetectable and no condom is used

April 16, 2014 by James Wilton, Biomedical Science of HIV Prevention Coordinator, CATIE

This article was first published in CATIE News (April 10, 2014). Background The sexual transmission of HIV occurs after an exposure to fluids that contain HIV, such as semen and fluids from the vagina and rectum. The amount of virus in these fluids (viral load) is the most important factor that determines whether an exposure…

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What are HIV-negative gay men’s understandings of sexual safety without condoms?

March 26, 2014 by Daniel Grace, PhD, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and Mark Gilbert, Physician Epidemiologist, Clinical Prevention Services, BCCDC

Background We set out to learn what HIV-negative gay men in Vancouver understood about sexual safety and their experiences of having anal sex without condoms. Participants were asked to talk about their everyday social and sexual lives, including the kinds of sex they have, their understanding of risk, the different HIV prevention strategies they use,…

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