Sexually Transmitted and Blood-borne Infections (STBBIs) and Related Stigma

stigma discrimination

The prevention, treatment and management of STBBIs, such as HIV, hepatitis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and human papillomavirus, continue to represent issues of public health importance in Canada. However, stigma and discrimination within health and social service settings often complicate public health efforts by acting as barriers to individuals who try to access and use STBBI-related services. Reducing stigma and discrimination requires more than one approach. Stigma and discrimination arise from the attitudes, values, beliefs and practices of individuals, in addition to the policies, procedures, culture and environment of health and social service organizations.

In an effort to support frontline service providers in the provision of STBBI-related services, CPHA has developed a number of resources that underscore the individual and organizational factors required to enhance services and reduce STBBI-related stigma, and ultimately improve health outcomes for those affected by or living with STBBIs.

Discussing sexual health, harm reduction and STBBIs: A guide for service providers

This resource, intended  for frontline health and social service providers, offers sample dialogue and outlines several strategies to facilitate safer and more respectful discussions about sexual health, substance use and STBBIs with clients.

Reducing stigma and discrimination through the protection of privacy and confidentiality

This resource, developed in partnership with the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, explains the important role of privacy and confidentiality in reducing stigma and discrimination related to STBBIs, and offers frontline health and social service providers several strategies they can use to deal with issues related to privacy, confidentiality, the criminalization of HIV non-disclosure and stigma reduction.

Self-assessment tool for STBBIs and stigma

This psychometrically validated tool, based on the Healthcare Provider HIV/AIDS Stigma Scale, offers several questions to help frontline health and social service providers reflect on their own attitudes, values and beliefs related to STBBIs.

Organizational assessment tool for STBBIs and stigma

This tool assists organizations in identifying the policy, environmental and cultural factors that contribute to the reduction of stigma and, in turn, creating settings where clients feel welcomed and respected when seeking care.


stigma discrimination

CPHA, in collaboration with the Calgary Sexual Health Centre, has also developed the content for three workshops focused on the reduction of STBBI-related stigma. You can download the workshop resources, including a facilitation manual, a participant workbook and the presentation slides, to help you facilitate a training workshop in your own community.

Exploring STBBIs and stigma: An introductory workshop for health and social service providers

Offers health and social service providers an introduction to STBBI-related stigma and stigma reduction strategies that can be used in health and social service settings.

Moving beyond the basics: An advanced workshop about sexual health, substance use, STBBIs and stigma

Offers service providers in sexual health, harm reduction or other STBBI-related services an opportunity to enhance their discussion skills around sexuality and substance use, and provides several strategies and tools to mitigate stigma within health and social service settings.

Challenging organizational stigma: Providing safer and more inclusive sexual health, harm reduction and STBBI-related services

Offers frontline service providers, program planners and management an opportunity to review the policies, practices and culture of their own organizations, and to assess their strengths and challenges in providing safer, more inclusive sexual health, harm reduction and STBBI-related services.

Have a question or want to learn more? Contact CPHA.

Want to learn more about STBBIs? View CPHA’s other STBBI-related resources.