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Canadian Public Health Association

Are you comfortable discussing sexual practices, related risks and prevention of STBBIs?

  • A Core Competency in the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections (STBBIs)

Chandler is a 15 year old female who, during a routine appointment with her physician, discloses that lately she has been questioning her sexual orientation and is curious about the risks of different sexual practices between two women. Immediately sensing her doctor's discomfort, Chandler quickly changes the topic and leaves feeling embarrassed and further isolated.

Do you work in the area of sexual health or STBBI prevention or support? Are you able to comfortably discuss sexual practices, related risks and prevention of STBBIs with your clients?

Use the questions below to help you self-assess your knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices related to your level of comfort in discussing STBBI prevention issues. Remember that depending on your role, you may require different levels of proficiency for the various core competencies and it is possible that some of the competencies are not relevant to your work.

  1. Do you feel comfortable engaging your clients in open and honest conversations about their sexual health and risk behaviours?
  2. Do you use clear and inclusive language, devoid of bias and judgement?
  3. Do you understand the importance of cultural safety?
  4. Do you recognize your own strengths and weaknesses in relation to client support and do you know where to refer your clients should they require further sexual health or harm reduction services and/or information?
  5. Do all staff members at your organization/agency receive training related to cultural safety and client interaction, including, for example, administrative staff?

Suggested resources:

This is one of a series of cases on the core competencies for STBBI prevention. View all 26 cases on the core competencies for STBBI prevention.

Have a resource to suggest? Let us know.