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Community Acquired Infections Division

PHAC's Community Acquired Infections Division (CAID) works with the provinces and territories, non-governmental organizations and health care providers to improve and maintain sexual health and well-being, prevent hepatitis C infection, support people infected with or affected by hepatitis C and prevent and control tuberculosis. Such efforts are undertaken through knowledge development and transfer, prevention and health promotion policy and program development, and through the collection and analysis of epidemiological and surveillance data. The state of sexually transmitted infections, and hepatitis C cases are important markers of behaviours that may inform future trends around HIV infections in Canada.

The Surveillance and Epidemiology Section of CAID is responsible for routine and enhanced sexually transmitted infection (STI) and community-acquired hepatitis C surveillance, epidemiology and research. CAID works closely with its colleagues to ensure an integrated approach to surveillance and research. CAID provides data, analysis and interpretation to inform and support prevention, policy and programming activities related to STIs and community-acquired hepatitis C. In turn, the Division's surveillance and research priorities are guided by those program areas. This section contributes to broader initiatives within the Centre for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control for enhanced surveillance of populations vulnerable to sexually-transmitted and blood-borne infections, and collaborates with provincial and territorial representatives, international agencies and other partners to improve behavioural and disease surveillance for public health action.

In concert with health, education and other inter-sectoral partners, the Division's Sexual Health and Sexually Transmitted Infections Section promotes the physical and psychosocial well-being of Canadians through sexual health promotion activities. Such activities include the publication of Canadian guidelines on the treatment of sexually transmitted infections and on the provision of school-based sexual health education; publication of national consensus statements and policy recommendations; development of targeted research studies; and coordination of the dissemination and exchange of information. The section supports efforts to prevent and control sexually transmitted infections and their complications, including cancer and infertility.

Evidence shows that a sexually transmitted infection increases the risk of also acquiring HIV. Further, some STIs can be more harmful and more difficult to treat, when the infected individual is living with HIV. Additionally, the treatment of HIV can me more difficult in the presence of some STIs. Within CAID, the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada has provided partial funding for Pilot Street Youth Surveillance and has supported in part the 2006 Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infection. Initiatives designed to reduce the spread of STIs and thereby significantly lessen a person's probability of acquiring HIV.

The Sexual Health and STI Section of CAID produces and distributes the most current evidence-based national guidelines related to the screening, treatment and control of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The 2006 Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections represents the most current available knowledge on the management of sexually transmitted infections, including information about the treatment of STIs among those already infected with HIV. The capacity of health care practitioners is directly affected through the availability of this best-practice information.

Pilot street youth surveillance, with collaboration from internal and external stakeholders, led to the development of more effective mechanisms to reach street youth and provide testing and care for STIs/HIV and related infections. Results include improved prevention and program delivery in this population, for example provision of addiction and needle exchange services and the development of an Aboriginal healing centre.

Publications

Contact us at:

Community Acquired Infections Division
Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control
100 Eglantine Driveway, LCDC Building
A.L.0602C
Tunney's Pasture
Ottawa, ON K1A 0K9