Gay Men’s Sexual Health Knowledge Centre

About the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Knowledge Centre

Contents

The aim of the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Knowledge Centre is to increase the capacity of front-line service providers to respond to the sexual health and other health needs of Canada’s diverse communities of cisgender and transgender gay, bisexual, queer and two-spirit men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). This knowledge centre is the product of a one-year Gay Men’s Sexual Health Project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

This initiative situates HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) treatment and prevention work for gay men within a broader sexual health framework that integrates the social determinants of health.  

Why is there a knowledge centre specifically for gay, bisexual, two-spirit and other MSM?

Since the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Canada, MSM have represented – and continue to represent – a significant majority of reported HIV diagnoses.

  • Since 1985, MSM have accounted for 55.4% of all HIV-positive tests reports in Canada1 and 68.8% of HIV-positive test reports among adult males.2
  • In 2005, MSM accounted for an estimated 45% of all new infections in Canada.2 This increased to 47% in 2008.3
  • In 2004, the reported rate of infectious syphilis among males was more than 15 times higher than in 1997, indicating increased risk of exposure to HIV. 2
  • Based on information from research and population-specific surveillance, HIV prevalence among MSM in Canadian cities may range from 11% to 24%.4

Given the significant representation of MSM in the HIV epidemic in Canada, an effective HIV response must specifically address the unique health needs of both HIV-positive and HIV-negative MSM.

The population of men who identify as gay and bisexual is extremely diverse. Therefore, many of the unique health concerns faced by men due to their sexual orientation or activities may be experienced differently according to their ethno-racial or cultural background, income, gender identity, citizenship status, age, ability, HIV status, languages spoken and the many other social and cultural factors that can influence one’s health. This diversity requires a complex and multi-faceted response to meet both the individual and collective needs of MSM in Canada.

Objectives

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Knowledge Centre aims to:

  • Increase service providers' understanding of the unique sexual, emotional and physical health needs of gay men
  • Increase service providers' ability to situate their work within a health framework that includes broader social determinants
  • Increase service providers' ability to disseminate or communicate information to the communities they work with
  • Encourage an informed, evidence-based and skilled HIV & sexual health response that integrates sex-positive, strengths-based approaches and positive prevention principles.

For more information, please contact:

Len Tooley
Coordinator, Community Health Promotion Programming
ltooley@catie.ca
416-203-7122 ext. 271

Acknowledgements

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Project was supported by a National Advisory Group that was selected with the aim of achieving the best possible geographic, stakeholder and demographic representation of gay/bi/queer/two-spirit/MSM cisgender and transgender men’s communities across Canada.

CATIE would like to thank the following people and organizations for their contribution to the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Project:

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Project National Advisory Group

Art Zoccole, Bill Ryan, Chris Boodram, Duncan MacLachlan, Garfield Durrant, Gens Hellquist, Gerardo Betancourt, James Murray, Mark Randall, Matthew Numer, Nick Mulé, Owen McEwen, Reece Malone, Richard Utama, Rob Poole, Shazad Hai, Stephen Alexander, Suhail Abualsameed, Tom Hilton, Wayne Robert

Organizations

2-Spirited People of the 1st Nations, RÉZO, Public Health Agency of Canada, AIDS Committee of Toronto, Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Avenue Community Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, Centre for Spanish-Speaking Peoples, AIDS Bureau at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, AIDS Calgary, Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, York University, Ontario's Gay Men's Sexual Health Alliance, Rainbow Resource Centre, Asian Community AIDS Services, HIV Edmonton, Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, Canadian AIDS Society, Sherbourne Health Centre, Health Initiative for Men (HiM)

References