Prevention in Focus

Fall 2015 

The (re)emergence of STIs among MSM: Why does it matter and what can be done?

Rates of many STIs are either high or on the rise among gay men. These infections can pose health risks and also facilitate HIV transmission. This article explores the current challenges to improving the diagnosis and prevention of STIs, and offers potential solutions.

By James Wilton

Views from the front lines: Sexually transmitted infections and gay men

Three service providers give us their views and insights on the issues related to the rising rates of STIs in gay men.

People living with HIV who are undiagnosed: Revisiting our HIV prevention messaging

Most HIV transmissions may originate from people living with HIV who don’t know that they are HIV positive, rather than within serodiscordant relationships as was previously thought. This article examines this new knowledge and explores what can be done to improve our HIV prevention messaging to help reduce the number of HIV transmissions.

By James Wilton

Does multidisciplinary care improve health outcomes among people living with HIV and/or HCV? A review of the evidence

Across Canada, multidisciplinary care models are used to care for and treat people living with HIV and hepatitis C. A review of the scientific literature found that people living with HIV and/or hepatitis C who access the services of a multidisciplinary care team are more likely to achieve optimal health outcomes, and in the case of hepatitis C, a cure.

By Logan Broeckaert and Laurel Challacombe

New Best Practice Recommendations Part 2: Service referrals for substance use treatment, mental health services, and housing services

Many people who use drugs have unmet needs for substance use treatment, mental health and housing services. This article introduces new evidence-informed recommendations for referrals from needle and syringe programs and other harm reduction programs to substance use treatment and mental health and housing services.

By Carol Strike and Tara Marie Watson

Cyberspace and cellphones: New frontiers for HIV prevention with gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men

Mobile phones and the Internet are increasingly being used by MSM to meet other guys, find sex and seek sexual health information. In response, service providers are turning to eHealth interventions, delivered via the Internet and other technologies, to carry out HIV prevention efforts with MSM. A systematic review explored the results of eHealth HIV prevention interventions with MSM.

By Len Tooley

Are Condoms Over? Research and Reality for Gay Men

Condoms have long been a mainstay of our prevention efforts but there are conflicting claims about how effective condoms are for anal sex. An HIV educator looked at the research to find out just how effective condoms really are.

By Mark Milano

Using evidence to inform program development

Have you ever struggled with exactly how to find and use research results and other evidence that will inform your program development? The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools has identified tools that can help guide service providers through evidence-informed decision making.

By Erica Lee

Research Update: A brief, group intervention reduces HIV and STI sexual risk practices among queer women

Research suggests that up to 20% of lesbian, bisexual and queer women have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) in their lifetime and the use of safer sex practices are low among this population. There are few programs targeting this population but a brief group intervention was found to significantly reduce sexual risk practices in participants and increased their STI knowledge.

By Logan Broeckaert

Research Update: An intensive, time-limited linkage-to-care intervention positively impacts engagement in HIV care

Effective programs that improve engagement in HIV care for people living with HIV are needed to meet the UNAIDS 90-90-90-targets for the global scale-up of HIV treatment. An innovative study that assigns linkage-to-care specialists to HIV patients had a positive impact on client engagement in care.

By Logan Broeckaert

CATIE News: Use of daily Truvada as PrEP is highly effective for gay men in PROUD demonstration project

An English study where men recruited from sexual health clinics either started PrEP immediately or delayed PrEP use for 12 months found that daily PrEP was highly effective at reducing HIV risk. The rate of HIV infection among men taking PrEP was 86% lower than the rate in men not taking PrEP.

By James Wilton

CATIE News: “On-demand” PrEP strategy highly effective for gay men who have frequent sex

A French study looking at PrEP taken “on demand” (two pills between two and 24 hours before sex, and one pill 24 and 48 hours after sex) was highly effective at reducing HIV risk. The rate of HIV infection in the PrEP group was 86% lower than the rate in men who took placebo.

By James Wilton

The Programming Connection: Programs and resources

Read about selected Canadian programs that use novel approaches to improve access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, care and support.

Essential resources

What are some of the key recent Canadian and international HIV and hepatitis C resources?

Prevention resources

A selection of prevention resources available from CATIE’s Ordering Centre.

Fast facts: Hepatitis C in Canada

What percentage of Canadians have been infected with hepatitis C? How many have chronic hepatitis C but don’t know it?

Acknowledgements

CATIE would like to thank the following people for their contribution to this issue of Prevention in Focus: Chris Aucoin, Tsion Demeke Abate, Logan Broeckaert, Sonya Burke, Laurel Challacombe, Laurie Edmiston, Riyas Fadel, Jodi Jollimore, Lesley Gallagher, Mark Gilbert, Kat Jodouin, Christine Johnston, Zak Knowles, Nathan Lachowsky, Andrea Langlois, Erica Lee, Carmen Logie, Jeanie Mackintosh, Alexandra Martin-Roche, Ali Murphy, Patrick O’Byrne, Abigail Oduneye, Jim Pollock, Mark Randall, Tim Rogers, Matt Smith, Carol Strike, Len Tooley, Matthew Watson, Tara Marie Watson, James Wilton.

Editorial team: Laurel Challacombe, Logan Broeckaert, Zak Knowles.

The production of Prevention in Focus has been made possible through financial contributions from the Public Health Agency of Canada.