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Clinical Prevention Services Research

The Clinical Prevention Services research program studies a wide array of topics, including health promotion, harm reduction and prevention services.

We focus on multiple conditions, including tuberculosis (TB), hepatitis B and C, HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STI), mental illness and substance misuse. We work closely with the UBC CDC Research Development Unit, contributing to overall BCCDC research activities.

Our goal

Our goal is to increase the capacity of the Clinical Prevention Services division for conducting applied research that is of the highest quality and leads to practice and policy change in BC, Canada and internationally.

Our objectives

Our objectives are:

  • To attract new research funding
  • To support efficient research practices
  • To attract and support trainees
  • To translate research into action
  • To increase our online presence
  • To provide mentorship and skills building for researchers in CPS

Research areas 

Harm reduction


Mental/sexual health

Mental health concerns are prevalent among sexual minorities and other clients accessing sexual health preventive and treatment services. We seek to better understand the overlap and intersections between sexual and mental health. Watch this video to learn more.

Anxious client presentations in online sexual health encounters: We are currently conducting research to understand how to better serve sexual health clients who present with high levels of anxiety or worry about HIV and other sexual health concerns.

  • A survey of 1,115 sexual health clinic clients, measuring unmet mental health care needs | read more 
  • Interviews with sexual health providers and administrators exploring how they address clients’ mental health needs | read more 
  • Assessments of points of healthcare access for sexual minorities with particular mental health service need | read more 


DiSHI: Research about the impact of online and other digital public health interventions, such as GetCheckedOnline and SmartSexResource, on sexual health at the individual, system and population levels | Read more

DaDHS: A prospective, double-blind, randomized, controlled multi-centre pilot trial of daily doxycycline versus placebo for the prevention of syphilis among gay, bisexual, men who have sex with other men (gbMSM) living with HIV | Read more

DISCO: The first methodologically rigorous randomized controlled trial ( three-arm trial), investigating the use of doxycycline in the prevention of bacterial STIs (syphilis, gonorrhea, or chlamydia) among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (both cisgender and transgender) or transgender women | Read more

HPV-SAVE: A multi-project research program involving multiple studies with the overarching goal of better defining the optimal approaches to the prevention, screening, and treatment of HPV and HPV-related SCC precursors in gbMSM living with HIV:
  • A screening validation study examining the ability of combining prevalent anal HPV type (using HPV DNA-based testing) with cytology to predict high resolution anoscopy- (HRA-) confirmed HSIL | Read more
  • A randomized controlled trial assessing the efficacy of the 9-valent HPV vaccine in HIV-positive MSM, including safety and immunogenicity, as well as its potential role in preventing the recurrence of high-grade anal dysplasia | Read more
PEACH: A longitudinal study exploring the use of novel biomarkers to improve screening methods for anal cancer among gay, bisexual, men who have sex with other men (cisgender and transgender) or transgender women living with HIV | Read more

Syphilis PrEP
: A pilot, cross-sectional study examining the desirability and usefulness of syphilis Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) in asymptomatic men that sleep with men (MSM) at risk for STIs, aiming to determine if oral and anal self-swabbing is acceptable to participants for syphilis detection and if the PCR test is able to identify syphilis earlier than the standard blood test | Read more

Related content: HIV & AIDS ReportsSTI Reports

Syphilis PrEP (DuDHS): A randomized trial of doxycycline in syphilis prevention among gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men. The study assess the suitability of using dual daily HIV and syphilis PrEP and medication adherence.

Street Youth Video Project: A research project in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada aimed at exploring issues in the life of street youth that contribute to the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections including AIDS. At the end of the project, the youth engaged in the project developed video clips with the help of a local film agency to tell their stories around sexual risk while living on the street and some of the research findings. | Watch Carter's story & Trevor's story

HPV-SAVE (RCT Study): A randomized controlled trial of ablative treatment versus observation alone for high grade anal dysplasia | Read more


  • From Patient to Policy: Using data to drive TB elimination in Canada’s foreign born population: Development and validation of a TB risk score which quantifies an individual’s risk of progressing to active TB based on their unique medical and demographic risk factors
  • A precision public health approach to eliminating TB transmission: Cross-interdisciplinary research that links genomic and administrative data to describe Mycobacterium tuberculosis clusters in BC, reconstruct person-to-person transmission within a cluster and evaluate utility of whole genome sequencing as a tool for outbreak prevention
  • 2R2: A randomized, phase 2b, partially blind, controlled clinical trial to assess treatment completion, safety and efficacy of higher dose Rifampin for 2 months vs. standard dose Rifampin for latent TB.

Related content: Tuberculosis Reports

  • Enhancing the public health impact of latent TB infection diagnosis and treatment (ACT4): A pragmatic cluster randomized trial in Canada, Benin, Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam to evaluate the effectiveness of a standardized public health evaluation followed by targeted solutions for problems identified on increasing the proportion starting latent TB infection treatment among household contacts of patients with active pulmonary TB
  • WelTel Outreach: Engaging clients in the field: A project that generates evidence for better communications and delivery of TB care throughout the Lower Mainland by replacing the existing practice of individual client-provider text messaging and immediate deletion with a secure, centralized WelTel digital health platform | Read more

Training activities

Machine Learning for Precision Public Health Seminar Series

Disruptive innovations, such as machine learning and predictive analytics, are being increasingly applied within the field of public health for a range of tasks, including detecting outbreaks, identifying patients at higher risk of particular conditions, and resource allocation. The CPS research program is organizing this special seminar series which aims to provide BCCDC trainees, staff and researchers an introduction to the key concepts surrounding machine learning and the types of public health problems it can address, as well as an opportunity to interact with local and regional thought leaders in the area of machine learning. 

Recorded Presentations

Workshops and discussion sessions

SOURCE: Clinical Prevention Services Research ( )
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