Re-Evaluating Current Public Health Policy: Alternative Public Health Nursing Approaches to Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing for Teens and Males who Have Sex with Males



This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 23, Issue 2, 202, Article first published online: March 2006

  • Patrick O'Byrne, R.N., Ph.D. (cand.), School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Dave Holmes, R.N., Ph.D., is Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

* Dave Holmes, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8M5. E-mail:


Abstract Objective: Due to a recent increase in the rates of reportable sexually transmitted infections (STI) across Canada, and the movement of public health nursing initiatives to a health promotion/illness prevention model, this paper proposes alternative strategies to current public health initiatives to encourage individuals who are labelled as at-risk by public health discourses, such as teens and males who have sex with males (MSM), to undertake preventative screening. Theoretical Design: To undertake this task, we approached Health Canada's (2002) determinants of health utilizing Lupton's (1995) post-structuralist work on public health to suggest that for some members of these groups, health is not an imperative. Conclusions: As such, we propose that increasing anonymous testing and its advertisement would provide one means of providing population-sensitive care and could thus increase the screening rates of individuals within groups who reject the public health “healthy” disquisition.