At YouthCO, we know that T2SNB youth, particularly youth who are trans women and femmes who are also Indigenous, Black, and of colour, are among the youth most impacted by HIV & Hep C.
One of the many ways we can support T2SNB communities is through providing accurate information that can give us some tips and reduce the stigma surrounding HIV and Hep C. This booklet was written by T2SNB youth from across what is now called British Columbia from September 2018 - May 2019, with funding from the Provincial Health Services Authority's Collective Impact Network Innovation Fund.
We believe that all youth, including those of us who are Trans, Two-Spirit and non-binary (T2SNB) have the right to accessible and affirming information about our sexual health. Institutional barriers that our communities face have made knowledge on how HIV and Hep C relates to us harder to access, and in some cases, non existent. The information in this booklet has been developed by community members, including past and present YouthCO staff, volunteers, and program participants who are Trans, Two-Spirit, non-binary, living with HIV and/or Hep C.
Each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, and sexuality. For many of us, the words used by others for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. We know that we have not used words in this resource that reflect everyone in our communities. We have tried to be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible about the ways that HIV and Hep C can be passed.
Language and experiences are ever changing and evolving, so we invite feedback about the language we have used in this book so we can continue to make this information more accurate and accessible. You can reach the YouthCO team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at 1-855-968-8426!
There are many places we can get tested for STIs (including HIV) and Hep C in British Columbia. STI, HIV and Hep C testing in our province is always free and confidential! Most often, STIs and Hep C do not have any symptoms or signs. Testing is the only way to know whether or not we have an STI.
We can use the STI clinic finder below offered by Smart Sex Resource that is below to find a clinic where we can get tested. This clinic finder does not include places that offer STI testing on First Nations reserves. Community Health Nurses in our communities will be able to do STI tests, or help us find someone who can.
We can also get an STI test by asking a family doctor to order the test for us. In this process, we will be given a lab requisition form and then have to visit a lab.
In some parts of BC, we can also use the website GetCheckedOnline to get a lab requisition form without seeing a nurse or doctor. To make an account, use the promo code youthco.
Depending on what viruses or bacteria we may be coming into contact with, we'll need different types of tests: blood, urine, or a swab (for our throat, bum, vagina, or front hole). For more information about testing, visit Smart Sex Resource, a website created by the BC Centre for Disease Control, which has information about STIs, and what we need to know about each STI test. Content note: this website does not consistently use gender affirming language for our body parts.
We're so pleased to share some great news: the Provincial Health Services Authority has decided to fund a new project at YouthCO. As of this summer, YouthCO has dedicated funding to improve HIV and Hep C services for trans, non-binary, and Two-Spirit youth.Read more
Hep C treatments are better than ever, and now, there is even a cure for Hep C. Even better, these treatments that can cure Hep C are available at no cost for youth in British Columbia in most cases!*Read more