Investigating Socio-Cultural and Structural Forces Affecting Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing and Treatment Among Youth in Northeastern BC

Despite public health efforts, sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates among young people are high and rising, with some groups of youth disproportionately affected. In particular, STI’s are a growing concern for youth living in northeastern BC’s oil, gas, and mining communities. These communities are experiencing rapid growth and social change, largely associated with an influx of young people attracted by the current economic ‘boom’ in the oil, gas and mining industries. Shira Goldenberg is investigating young people’s experiences accessing STI testing and treatment services in Fort St. John, British Columbia. She is examining how socio-cultural factors, such as social norms, gender, ethnicity, religion and structural forces, such as geography, economic restructuring, and public health service delivery mechanisms, affect young people’s experiences with STI testing and treatment. Shira will use this information to recommend ways public health planners can tailor STI interventions to improve the sexual health of youth in northeastern BC and other remote, resource-based communities.