Do you understand how a person's experiences affect decisions about accessing services, getting tested and following treatment recommendations?
- A Core Competency in the Prevention of Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections (STBBIs)
Stéphane, now in his late twenties, was homeless during most of his teenage years after having run away from his foster home due to sexual abuse. While homeless, Stéphane survived through panhandling, shoplifting and survival sex (exchanging sex for food or a place to sleep). During this time, he was very mistrustful of others and therefore tried to avoid all contact with health and social services. Although Stéphane is now stably housed and has some contact with a local community health centre, he has never been tested for STBBIs and is very hesitant to discuss his sexual health and drug use history with the staff at the centre.
Do you work in the area of sexual health or STBBI prevention and support? Do you understand how a person's experiences affect decisions about accessing services, getting tested and following treatment recommendations?
Use the questions below to help you self-assess your knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices related to the relationship between personal experiences and STBBI-related decision-making. 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.
- How do you think the following life experiences could affect an individual's decision to seek testing and/or treatment: 1) childhood sexual abuse or other trauma, 2) very low or uncertain income, 3) social marginalization, 4) having been in prison?
- Does your agency have policies and/or practices in place to address and reduce potential barriers to testing and treatment?
- How could anonymous and/or rapid HIV testing facilitate increased uptake of testing and treatment?
- What are some other ways to streamline services and make them more accessible to vulnerable populations?
- What are some messages and methods that you can use to acknowledge clients' realities and fears and put them more at ease when accessing services?
- Strengthening and Building Sexual Health of Aboriginal Youth and Young Adults, Fact sheet number 8: Barriers to Accessing Sexual Health Services, Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit, 2004
- Women and HIV Testing in Canada: Barriers and Recommendations as Identified by Service Providers, Canadian AIDS Society, 2011
- Factors Affecting Attendance for Hepatitis C Care: Report of Stage One of the Attendance for Hepatitis C Care Project, BC Centre for Disease Control
- The Toolbox: What Works for Sex Workers, Prostitutes of Ottawa/Gatineau Work, Educate and Resist and the Ontario HIV Treatment Network
- Trauma-informed: The Trauma Toolkit (Second Edition), Klinic Community Centre, 2013
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.
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