Gay Men’s Sexual Health Knowledge Centre


Welcome to CATIE’s Gay Men’s Sexual Health Knowledge Centre! This online collection highlights key resources and tools for service providers who work with gay, bisexual, two-spirit, queer and other cisgender and transgender men who have sex with men (MSM) in a Canadian context.

A note on the term “gay men

Within the HIV movement, there is growing acknowledgement that the term “men who have sex with other men” (MSM), which finds its roots in the epidemiological classification of sexual behaviours, partly erases gay men’s cultures, identities and lived experiences and tends to define them solely by whom they have sex with. Conversely, referring simply to “gay men” can be problematic as the term gay is laden with cultural and social meanings and values with which some men do not associate. Indeed, there is a significant number of men who participate in the “gay” community – and who are involved romantically, socially and sexually with “gay” men – but do not themselves identify as gay.

Throughout research, policy and community programming on gay men and gay men’s health, a wide range of terms is used to acknowledge the limits of simply referring to MSM as gay. It is our belief that a gay men’s health movement must incorporate a broad definition of its population and reflect the current diversity of identities and terms within our work and communities. This means including all men who engage with other men romantically or sexually regardless of their gender identity (i.e. cis men or trans men) or sexual orientation identification (i.e. gay, bisexual, queer, two-spirit, pansexual). However, the term has continuing political and historical resonance and, for the sake of simplicity in this knowledge centre, we have frequently elected to use the term “gay men” with the clear understanding that the diversity of our identities and terms are contained within it.

(The above was taken from CATIE’s report New directions in gay men’s health and HIV prevention in Canada.)