National Advisory Committee on Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections (NAC-STBBI)

About the NAC-STBBI

Mandate

The National Advisory Committee on Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections (NAC-STBBI) provides PHAC with ongoing, timely advice and recommendations for the development of public health guidance related to STBBI, in support of its mandate to prevent and control infectious diseases in Canada. PHAC retains all decision-making authority and decides how it will use the recommendations and advice of the committee.

The NAC-STBBI carries out its mandate by:

  1. reviewing the epidemiology and scientific literature on specific STBBI as well as the evidence on specific prevention strategies, diagnosis, and treatment;
  2. providing advice based on the best available evidence or, where there is a paucity of evidence, based on expert knowledge and practice; and
  3. advising PHAC about current and emerging issues relating to STBBI.

The NAC-STBBI consists of 15 voting members with expertise in the areas of infectious disease, medical microbiology, laboratory diagnostics, pharmacology, obstetrics and gynaecology, paediatrics, primary care and public health. Recruitment ensures members have a range of knowledge, expertise and experience, as well as varied perspectives. Consideration is also given to geographic representation given that challenges may differ across Canada.

Background

Canadian STBBI experts have provided advice to the Government of Canada for more than 30 years. The first advisory committee - the Expert Interdisciplinary Advisory Committee on Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) in Children and Youth - was established in 1986 by Health and Welfare Canada to provide advice and guidance for the prevention and control of STD. In 1988, this committee published the first Canadian Guidelines for the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in neonates, children, adolescents and adults . While the Advisory Committee was disbanded in 1991, the Expert Working Group (EWG) on Sexually Transmitted Diseases was struck in 1998 under the authority of Health Canada's Laboratory Centre for Disease Control for the purpose of developing guidelines.

Following the creation of PHAC in 2004, the EWG on Sexually Transmitted Diseases began reporting to PHAC, and the name was changed to the EWG for the Canadian Guidelines on Sexually Transmitted Infections. In 2019, this EWG transitioned to a formal external advisory body (EAB) that is based on the principles and requirements set out under federal government legislation and policies.

Guideline Development Methodology

The methodology for developing the STBBI Guidelines has evolved to a more rigorous, systematic and transparent method to formulate trustworthy guidance. The new approach was informed by best practice standards in guideline development and the methodology of major guideline developers. PHAC's STBBI guidelines are developed using the GRADE methodology and PHAC continues to seek ways to improve and refine these processes to ensure the guidelines are developed in a way that is consistent with internationally recognized best practices.

For more information on the methodology used, please contact the Secretariat at

phac.sti.secretariat-its.aspc@canada.ca
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