At the OHTN’s 2016 Conference HIV Endgame II: Stopping the Syndemics that Drive HIV, the Investigaytors hosted an interactive workshop where participants, including researchers, service providers, and community members, identified and prioritized domains that could be included in a survey of MSM in Ontario. The Investigaytors will use the information gathered from this workshop in the development of their own province-wide periodic survey.
Maya Kesler presented on the lab’s Cruising Counts Study at the conference. Using data from the Ontario-wide Cruising Counts Study, we wanted to know how the internet was being used to look for sexual partners and to seek health information and if these behaviours were associated with sexual risk (not using condoms). Overall, sexual risk was relatively uncommon among this group of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM).
Among individuals whose partners had a different HIV status from themselves (HIV discordant), condom use ranged from 30-70%. Of those not using condoms, seropositioning (choosing sexual positions depending on the serostatus of one’s partner) occurred around 25-55% of the time, however, substance use may have had a negative impact on these safer sex behaviours. Alcohol/drug use, not knowing a partner’s HIV status and looking online for STI/HIV testing information was associated with engaging in greater sexual risk behaviours (more condomless sex). Asking or being told a partner’s HIV status decreased sexual risk behaviours and meeting a partner online was not associated with increased or decreased sexual risk behaviours. Sexual health educators and providers can use this information to create better and more focused interventions that consider GBM’s use of the internet for sex and health information.