Northeastern British Columbia is undergoing rapid in-migration of young, primarily male workers in response to the "boom" in the oil/gas industries. Accompanying the boom is a rise in Chlamydia rates among youth, which exceed the provincial average by 22%. STI testing reduces the disease burden, contributing to STI prevention.
1) To document youths' perceptions regarding the socio-cultural and structural forces that affect young oil/gas workers' access to STI testing; 2) to gather service providers' perspectives on sexual health service delivery for workers; and 3) to develop recommendations to improve the accessibility of STI testing.
We conducted ethnographic fieldwork (8 weeks) in a remote oil/gas community, including in-depth interviews with 25 young people (ages 15-25) and 14 health and social service providers.
Participants identified limited opportunities to access testing, geographic isolation, and 'rigger' culture as three key categories inhibiting STI testing among oil/gas Workers.
These results suggest the need for place-based approaches to STI control. Innovative outreach strategies are suggested to address oil/gas workers' needs, including a locally tailored STI awareness campaign, condom distribution, expanded clinic hours, and onsite STI testing.