Despina Tzemis

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This study identifies factors associated with self-perceived HIV-related stigma (stigma) among a cohort of individuals accessing antiretroviral therapy in British Columbia, Canada. Data were drawn from the Longitudinal Investigations into Supportive and Ancillary Health Services study, which collects social, clinical, and quality of life (QoL) information(More)
Health policies and programs are increasingly being driven by people from the community to more effectively address their needs. While a large body of evidence supports peer engagement in the context of policy and program development for various populations, little is known about this form of engagement among people who use drugs (PWUD). Therefore, a(More)
BACKGROUND In British Columbia (BC), understanding of high-risk drug use trends is largely based on survey and cohort study data from two major cities, which may not be representative of persons who use drugs in other regions. Harm reduction stakeholders, representing each of the five geographic health regions in BC, identified a need for data on drug use(More)
People who smoke crack cocaine are described as chaotic and more likely to engage in risky sex, polysubstance use and contract infectious diseases. However, little is known about how individuals perceive smoking crack as compared to other forms of cocaine use, especially injection. We explored the lived experience of people who smoke crack cocaine. Six(More)
BACKGROUND The Youth Injection Prevention (YIP) project aimed to identify factors associated with the prevention of transitioning to injection drug use (IDU) among street-involved youth (youth who had spent at least 3 consecutive nights without a fixed address or without their parents/caregivers in the previous six months) aged 16-24 years in Metro(More)
BACKGROUND Harm reduction programs are often vulnerable to political and vocal opposition despite documented evidence of their effectiveness and economic benefit. It is not well understood if opponents to harm reduction represent the general public's attitudes. OBJECTIVE To understand the attitudes of the people of British Columbia (BC) towards various(More)
BACKGROUND In August 2012, the British Columbia Take Home Naloxone (BCTHN) program was introduced to help to reduce opioid overdose and its consequences. This study evaluates the BCTHN program, identifying the successes and challenges of implementing a provincial program in Canada. METHODS In this cross-sectional study, we reviewed the records of the(More)
A patient's understanding and use of healthcare information can affect their decisions regarding treatment. Better patient understanding about HIV resistance may improve adherence to therapy, decrease population viral load and extend the use of first-line HIV therapies. We examined knowledge of developing HIV resistance and explored treatment outcomes in a(More)
This article uses a Positive Youth Development framework to explore the experiences of six experiential youth coresearchers (YCs) in the Youth Injection Prevention (YIP) participatory research project, and the parallel track process of empowerment and capacity building that developed. The YIP project was conducted in Metro Vancouver at the BC Centre for(More)
OBJECTIVES Street-involved youth are at high risk for acquiring HIV and hepatitis C infection due to potential engagement in high-risk behaviours, including injection drug use. The Youth Injection Prevention (YIP) Project sought to identify factors that prevented street-involved youth from moving into injection drug use in Vancouver, BC. Our project used a(More)