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 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 epidemic in Canada, MSM have been over-represented – and continue to represent – a significant majority of new cases of HIV.

Based on the most recent Canadian estimates from 2014:

  • There are 349,837 gay men and other men who have sex with men;1
  • Gay men and other men who have sex with men are 131 times more likely to get HIV than men who do not have sex with men;1
  • 57% of all new infections are in gay men and other men who have sex with men (1,461 new infections);2
  • 53% of all people living with HIV are gay men and other men who have sex with men (39,630 men).2

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:

Michael Kwag
Knowledge Broker, Gay Men’s Sexual Health Programming

mkwag@catie.ca
416-203-7122 ext. 271

References

  • 1. a. b. Yang Q, Ogunnaike-Cooke S, Halverson J, et al. Estimated national HIV incidence rates among key subpopulations in Canada, 2014 . Presented at 25th Annual Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research (CAHR), 12–15 May 2016, Winnipeg, Canada. Abstract EPH3.5.
  • 2. a. b. Public Health Agency of Canada [PHAC]. Summary: Estimates of HIV Incidence, Prevalence and Proportion Undiagnosed in Canada, 2014 . Ottawa: Surveillance and Epidemiology Division, Professional Guidelines and Public Health Practice Division, Centre for Communicable Diseases and Infection Control, PHAC; 2015. Available at: http://www.catie.ca/sites/default/files/2014-HIV-Estimates-in-Canada-EN.pdf