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Canadian Public Health Association

Can you contextualize disparity and adapt programs to ensure inequities are not increased?

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

Consider...
A women's health clinic in a large city is hoping to improve its STBBI outreach and prevention programs for recent immigrants from African and Caribbean countries. Staff members at the women's health clinic recognize that they have a lot to learn about the immigrant experience as well as the cultural values and gender relationships within this diverse community, and have therefore partnered with a local Caribbean organization. Although staff members at the women's health clinic are eager to start a new program, upon consultation with their partners, they realize that a formal process to ensure that program changes don't in fact increase vulnerability and inequities for some community members is needed.

Do you work in the area of sexual health or STBBI program and policy development? Can you contextualize disparity and adapt programs to ensure inequities are not increased?

Use the questions below to help you self-assess your knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices related to the adaptation of programs to ensure health equity. 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. Are you aware of how perceptions of risk, internalized racism, and STBBI-related stigma can interact to create inequities in access to STBBI prevention programs for immigrants, ethnocultural communities and Aboriginal peoples?
  2. Do you understand how poverty and gender can interact within populations who are vulnerable to STBBIs to create different types of disparity (e.g., how barriers to services for moderate income female immigrants will be different than those for low income males)?
  3. What are some ways that a prevention program can address the economic, social, emotional and spiritual effects of poverty among clients? Conversely, can you describe some of the unintended negative consequences of requiring clients to ask for financial help or free devices in front of others?
  4. How would you define "social exclusion" and "marginalization" and how can STBBI programs and policies address these sometimes invisible disparities among clients?

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.