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An update on GPS: the new program for poz gay and bisexual men

First described in a July blog post, the new eight-week GPS (Gay Poz Sex) program is well underway at Positive Living BC. Having completed its third group at the beginning of September, the GPS Vancouver group is actively recruiting for its first randomized controlled trial (RCT), which will test the efficacy of the program.

The GPS group in Toronto has already completed an RCT group – the preliminary results of which can be found here – and the early results are positive. Participants are reporting increased social interactions, self-efficacy in sexual health risk assessment, and increased use of community supports. Most importantly, participants describe improved confidence in making healthier lifestyle choices – and are excited to refer GPS to friends.

What is the RCT protocol?

Participants have been organized into two groups. The experimental group begins the program three weeks after randomization, while the control group begins six months after randomization. Eligibility criteria stipulate that a participant must be a gay or bisexual male, 18 years or older, who is HIV positive. Eligible participants are randomized into the two experimental arms once a cohort of 16 has been assembled by the GPS peer facilitators. The goal is to recruit 72 participants in Vancouver.

Participants in the experimental group complete a series of four computer-based questionnaires (at baseline, post-program, and at 3- and 6-month follow-up), in addition to a qualitative interview conducted by the study coordinator at the 6-month follow-up visit. Control group study subjects will complete an extra two questionnaires at the 3- and 6-month points during the waiting period.

We need your help!

Health care providers are in a prime position to recommend the GPS program to eligible participants. We ask for your help in recruiting people for this program. There are so few safe spaces for all people to discuss sex so openly and honestly, and GPS provides that service to those it would benefit.

The peer facilitators, Michael Crate and Jonathan Postnikoff, are the first point of contact and can be reached by email or phone / text message at 604-240-7205. For promotional materials to display in your facility, please contact the new research coordinator, Taylor Perry.

For more information

More information on the program is available on the Gay Poz Sex website.