Monday, 15 October 2018

As legalization looms, Canada cannabis crackdown worries tokers

Agence Free Press mentioned UBC in an article about cannabis legalization in Canada.

The article quoted Hubert Lai, university counsel at UBC, who told local media the institution did not want to ban cannabis and “drive the behaviour underground.”

The article appeared in the Jakarta Post.

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Heads of 6 North Korean universities to visit Canada: Report

Korea Herald reported that the heads of six major North Korean universities will visit UBC.

Reports suggest the visits will take place from Oct. 16-20 for academic exchanges.

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HPV vaccine doesn’t encourage teen girls to have risky sex

Newsweek reported on UBC research that found the HPV vaccine program in B.C. schools doesn’t encourage teen girls to have risky sex.

The research was conducted by lead author Gina Ogilvie, a professor at UBC’s school of population and public health, senior author Elizabeth Saewyc, a professor at UBC’s school of nursing, and others.

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B.C.’s proportional representation referendum: The case for switching to PR

Wayne Broughton, a professor of mathematics at UBC’s Okanagan campus, wrote an op-ed for Kelowna Capital News about the proportional representation voting system.

“If B.C. voters judge on merit, proportional representation should trounce the current system in the upcoming referendum,” he wrote.

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There’s a new shuttle service to UBC from Surrey

News 1130 reported on a new shuttle service from Surrey to UBC.

The hourly shuttle costs $10.

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Legal marijuana will open up scientific research: UBC scientist

Global interviewed M-J Milloy, a UBC researcher with the B.C. Centre for Substance Abuse, for an article about scientific research on cannabis.

He said with legalization the federal government is signalling a change in regulations for studying marijuana.

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Teen girls did not engage in riskier sexual activity after HPV vaccine introduced in schools

Sexual behaviour among teen girls generally stayed the same or became less risky after human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations were introduced in B.C. public schools, according to new research from UBC.

The study comes following concern from some parents that the publicly funded vaccination program could encourage early sexual activity and unprotected sex.

HPV is a common, sexually transmitted infection that often resolves naturally without intervention. But if left untreated, persistent infection with high-risk types of the virus can cause precancerous lesions that may progress to cervical, anal, or reproductive tract cancers.

Gina Ogilvie

Gina Ogilvie

The vaccination program was introduced in schools in 2008 for girls in grades 6 and 9, and for girls in grade 6 after 2011.

“This large, prospective study over 10 years, conducted both before and after HPV vaccine implementation, shows that adolescent young women have not changed their sexual health practices since the introduction of the vaccine program,” said Dr. Gina Ogilvie, lead study author, Canada Research Chair in Global Control of HPV-Related Disease and Cancer, and assistant director at the Women’s Health Research Institute at BC Women’s Hospital + Health Centre.

Researchers examined data from the BC Adolescent Health Survey, a population-based survey of students in Grades 7 to 12 conducted every five years. The data came from surveys conducted in 2003, 2008 and 2013, representing approximately 300,000 girls in B.C. public schools.

The study found that the percentage of girls who reported ever having sex decreased from 21.3 per cent in 2003 to 20.6 per cent in 2008 and further dropped to 18.3 per cent in 2013.

The percentage of girls having intercourse before age 14 also decreased between 2008 and 2013, and condom use increased from 65 per cent in 2003 to 68.9 per cent in 2013.

“What we have seen over the past 10 years is that young people are making healthier choices around sexual behaviours,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, senior study author and a professor at the UBC school of nursing.

Elizabeth Saewyc

“The knowledge and information about sexual health and the availability of the HPV vaccine to help prevent cancer has not changed things for the worse.”

While the results of this paper are specific to girls in B.C., Ogilvie said they align with similar research around the world.

“These findings are consistent with studies in Scandinavia, and smaller clinic-based studies in the U.S. confirming that adolescent women do not make poorer sexual health choices after the HPV vaccine,” said Ogilvie, who is also a professor at UBC’s school of population and public health.

It’s estimated that more than 70 per cent of sexually active Canadian women and men will have at least one HPV infection in their lifetime.

A similar vaccine for boys was introduced on a broad scale only recently. Researchers say future studies should include sexual behaviour trends among boys and girls.

The study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The paper was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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