STI/HIV incidence continues to rise, particularly among subgroups of young men who have sex with men.
New STI/HIV interventions are being created to address the escalating needs of young men. However, few studies have examined how features of sociocultural contexts affect young men’s uptake of new STI/HIV interventions. For example, the availability of effective treatment for HIV infection is a potential “game changer” and the socio-cultural contexts in which young men launch their sexual careers are profoundly different from those experienced by previous generations.
Today’s young men are exposed to evolving gender stereotypes, a proliferation of online dating or hook-up platforms, and other factors that shape their sexual lives. Providing more knowledge to young men might help them engage in risk-reduction practices, and biotechnical interventions (e.g., PrEP) may provide added capacities to reduce risk, but successful and sustainable interventions need to account for evolving implementation contexts.
The Context Study
The UBC Youth Sexual Health Team (in the School of Population and Public Health, Faculty of Medicine) is launching a new study to explore sociocultural contexts and young men’s sexual lives (called the “Context Study“).
In the BC context, we are studying three intervention programs designed to reduce young men’s STI/HIV risks:
- BC Centre for Disease Control’s GetCheckedOnline;
- YouthCO’s Mpowerment YVR; and
- BC Ministry of Health’s Provincial Strategy for STI Prevention, Testing and Treatment.
The data generated from this study will inform the effective and ethical adaptation and scaling-up of these interventions in ways that enhance their capacity to positively affect the sexual health of young men at risk for STI/HIV.
The objectives of this 5-year study are:
- Examine how young men describe the links between contemporary socio-cultural contexts, their sexual lives, and STI/HIV-related risks.
- Identify young men’s perspectives on evolving masculinities, femininities, and gender regimes, and how those may influence their experiences with STI/HIV interventions.
- Describe the perspectives of policy makers and service providers regarding the ways in which contemporary socio-cultural contexts affect new and ongoing STI/HIV interventions for young men.
- Inform the implementation and scaling up of our team’s three STI/HIV interventions in ways that adapt to young men’s contemporary socio-cultural contexts.
Help us recruit!
We are seeking participants that:
- Identify as a (cisgender or transgender) man.
- Are between the ages of 15-30 years old.
- Have been or are currently sexually active with other (cisgender or transgender) men.
- Have ever used substances (crystal meth) during sexual encounters.
Interviews will take 1-1.5 hours to complete, are completely confidential, and participants receive a $30 honorarium. You can fnd more recruitment information here.
If you work with young men in your practice or organization, please share this information with them. Interested individuals should contact the research coordinator to find out if they are eligible.
YSHT Research Manager
Office (call only): 604-822-3791
Cell (text or call): 778-985-9331
Co-Principal Investigators: Jean Shoveller and Rod Knight
Co-Investigators: Danya Fast, Mark Gilbert, Perry Kendall, Andrea Krüsi, Nathan Lachowsky, Brandon Marshall, Ryan McNeil, John Oliffe, Kate Shannon, Will Small