Research with Pride (RwP) was a community-student collaborative initiative to promote and build capacity for community-based research exploring health and wellness in lesbian, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) communities. The event took place at University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health (DLSPH) in September 2009, and engaged over 100 students, community members and academic researchers in a full day of discussion, learning and networking. RwP was initiated by a group of graduate students in Health Promotion who identified a gap in resources addressing LGBTQ health, facilitating their further learning and work in this area. By engaging in a partnership with a community service organization serving LGBTQ communities in downtown Toronto, RwP emerges as a key example of the role of community-student partnerships in the pursuit of LGBTQ health promotion. This paper will describe the nature of this partnership, outline its strengths and challenges and emphasize the integral role of community-student partnerships in health promotion initiatives.
Acceptability of human papillomavirus vaccination and sexual experience prior to disclosure to health care providers among men who have sex with men in Vancouver, Canada: implications for targeted vaccination programs.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) may benefit from human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine due to increased risk for HPV infection and related disease. We assessed HPV vaccine acceptability and sexual experience prior to disclosure to Health Care Providers (HCP) to understand implications of targeted vaccination strategies for MSM.
From July 2008 to February 2009, 1169 MSM aged =19 years were recruited at community venues in Vancouver. We assessed key variables from a self-administered questionnaire and independent predictors of HPV vaccine acceptability using multivariate logistic regression.
Of 1041 respondents, 697 (67.0%) were willing to receive HPV vaccine and 71.3% had heard of HPV. Significant multivariate predictors of higher vaccine acceptability were (adjusted odds ratio [95% CI]): previous diagnosis of genital warts (1.7 [1.1, 2.6]), disclosure of sexual behavior to HCP (1.6 [1.1, 2.3]), annual income at least $20,000 (1.5 [1.1, 2.1]), previous hepatitis A or B vaccination (1.4 [1.0, 2.0]), and no recent recreational drug use (1.4 [1.0, 2.0]). Most MSM (78.7%) had disclosed sexual behavior to HCP and median time from first sexual contact with males to disclosure was 6.0 years (IQR 2-14 years); for men =26 years these were 72.0% and 3.0 years (IQR 1-8 years) respectively.
Willingness to receive HPV vaccine was substantial among MSM in Vancouver; however, acceptability varied by demographics, risk, and health history. HPV vaccine programs delivered by HCP would offer limited benefit given the duration of time from sexual debut to disclosure to HCP.
Statistical associations between substance use and seroconversion among gay and bisexual men abound. However, these associations often ignore men's own interpretations of their seroconversion. Using in-depth interviews with gay and bisexual men who reported using drugs or alcohol at the time of their seroconversion, we identify how these men explain the events that led to HIV transmission. Whereas a small minority of respondents reported substance use to explain their seroconversion, the majority reported three competing explanations. These participants claimed that they lacked sufficient knowledge about the behavioral risks that led to their seroconversion; that their decision to engage in unsafe sex was because of negative personal affect; and that they "trusted the wrong person." We link these findings to prevention and suggest that gay and bisexual men who use substances for recreational purposes will benefit from prevention efforts designed to address issues of gay and bisexual men rather than substance-using men.
This article provides a summary of the current status of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Latin America, as well as an outline of the diverse responses to it.
A search of international databases (Pubmed and ISI-Web of Science), regional databases (Scielo and Lilacs), regional and national documents and UNAIDS reports. Data are presented according to subregion.
In Mexico HIV remains concentrated among urban men who have sex with men (MSM), and has been growing among injecting drug users (IDU) and in rural areas in relation to migration. An increasing proportion of women among those affected is observed in all countries in Central America, the most affected region, as well as increasing the impact on other vulnerable groups, such as indigenous populations. The Andean Countries have urban epidemics concentrated among MSM. In Peru, non-traditional vulnerable populations were identified. In the Southern Cone heterosexual transmission became more relevant, probably in connection with IDU epidemics and is increasingly affecting lower income groups. Incidence rates have been declining since 2002 in Brazil, the first country to guarantee free, universal access to antiretrovirals, where one-third of drug-naïve patients are still initiating treatment at an advanced stage. Generally, access to treatment has improved as a result of support from the Global Fund and other initiatives, but there are concerns regarding coverage, equity and sustainability.
HIV is still concentrated among MSM in Latin America. Non-traditional vulnerable groups such as migrants and lower income populations, usually considered part of the general population, deserve attention. Programmes confronting sexual exclusion are still needed. Access to treatment has improved over time, but inequalities persist.
This study examines leading explanations for unsafe sex in light of in-depth interviews with 102 high-risk gay and bisexual men in Toronto to see how well they engage with the social circumstances and reasoning processes of men in their sexual relationships. We argue that there is an inadequate fit between some of the leading explanations and the discursive accounts provided by high risk men themselves. Their accounts focus on unsafe sex occurring as a resolution to condom and erectile difficulties, through momentary lapses and trade offs, out of personal turmoil and depression, and as a byproduct of strategies of disclosure and intuiting safety. This study examines, in particular the circumstances and rationales associated with men who identify their practices as "barebacking." We conclude with recommendations for communicating prevention messages to those most at risk based on the self-understandings of gay and bisexual men who most frequently practice unprotected sex.
Alcohol use is a public health problem in the Russian Federation. This study explored relationships between alcohol use and behavioral risks for HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Moscow, Russia. Alcohol use disorder identification test (AUDIT) scores for 1367 MSM participating in a cross-sectional survey and HIV testing were categorized to: "abstinence/low use", "hazardous use", "harmful use/dependency". Multiple logistic regression models compared dependent variables for sexual and drug use behaviors across alcohol use strata. Hazardous and harmful/dependent alcohol use were significantly associated with high-risk sexual behaviors and drug use. Harmful use/dependency was associated with an increased odds of having more than five male sex partners (last 12 months; adjusted odds ratios-AOR 1.69; 95 % CI 1.25-2.27), inconsistent condom use during anal intercourse (AOR 2.19; 95 % CI 1.61-2.96) and, among those using recreational drugs, injection drug use (last month; AOR 4.38: 95 % CI 1.13-17.07) compared to abstinent/low-level users. Harmful/dependent use was marginally associated with HIV infection (AOR 1.48; 95 % CI 0.97-2.25). HIV prevention efforts for MSM in Moscow may benefit from addressing problem alcohol use to mitigate high-risk behaviors.
The article discusses the Registered Partnership Act, passed in Norway in 1993, which has given gay and lesbian couples a right to register their relationship and to obtain many of the legal rights that heterosexual couples have. The article argues that the introduction of the Act is a product of, among others, cohabitation having become more legitimate as a life-form also among heterosexuals. The practical consequences of the Act have been modest, with relatively few couples having registered their relationship. The article suggests that the symbolic rather than the practical aspects of the Act have been important, and even then, the symbolic effect of the Act is equivocal. The new formal rights of gays and lesbians are of decreasing social and symbolic value, as new boundaries for legitimate life-forms are being demarcated elsewhere: While legislation on marriage concedes that personal relationships are a private matter, the right to have and to foster children is regarded as an issue where society at large should have a say. This view is also reflected in the restrictions that the Registered Partnership Act has placed on gay and lesbian couples in having children of their own.
Within sexual geographies, sexual struggles over urban public spaces are frequently explored. Less common is research on sexual struggles within sexually shared spaces and gay spaces. The aim of the article is to examine discursive struggles of meanings of gay male identity enacted in discussions of commodification/capitalism, disclosure, and space in Swedish gay press during 1969-1986. We trace the ambivalent feelings or the emergence of a new gay male norm situated between commercialism and non-commercialism within the Swedish gay press back to the 1970s. In the article we show how a monosexualization process was taking place in both the Swedish gay press as well as within sexual spaces. We explore rhetorical struggles between two competing discursive meanings of (ideal homonormative) male homosexuality, gay culture, and space: one wider (inclusive) and one narrower (exclusive).