MSM

COVID-19 UPDATE: The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Coordinator, Benjamin Warren, is working from home primarily until further notice. If you have any Gay Men’s Sexual Health program related inquiries or are seeking support / information, please email him at m2m@acckwa.com.

The Gay Men’s Sexual Health (GMSH) Department is focused on the prevention of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) for gay, bisexual, trans, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM), as well as the development of healthy, vibrant communities free from stigma. These goals are achieved through a combination of outreach, support, education and community development initiatives.

The department is staffed by two individuals whom you may contact at any time for support or with questions/concerns related to programming, HIV/STI information, sexual health and safer sex practices:

Gay Men’s Sexual Health Coordinator
Benjamin Warren
Email: m2m@acckwa.com
Phone: 519-570-3687 ext. 314

Gay Men’s Sexual Health Worker
*This position is vacant. Please contact the Coordinator in the meantime.
Email: gmsh@acckwa.com
Phone: 519-570-3687 ext. 312

Please see below for more information on the GMSH Department and its various initiatives.

What is PrEP?

PrEP and PEP:

PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is another option for HIV prevention that can be taken before a potential HIV exposure.  You can learn more by visiting: www.thesexyouwant.ca/prep and check out our PrEP Postcard here.

PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) has been identified as an effective tool of HIV prevention if taken within 72 hours after a high risk exposure.  To learn more, visit: www.thesexyouwant.ca/pep/

If you have additional questions about what accessing PrEP and/or PEP might look like in your situation, feel free to contact Benjamin at ACCKWA.

Outreach:

The GMSH department’s outreach program has three main facets:

Online outreach – The GMSH staff & volunteers are pleased to offer online outreach on all of your favourite platforms– Grindr, Growlr, Scruff, Jack’d, & Squirt! Just look for our profiles/posts and say hello! You can usually find us online on Thursdays between 3-6 p.m.

Event outreach – Come check out our information tables at different community events in the tri-cities.  Our campaign will be there to greet you!

Park outreach – Hooking up in a park? ACCKWA’s got you covered across the region. Look for these while you’re cruising:

UR Status Findr Park cover


Education:

  • Fun & informative workshops – From HIV basics to the legal complexities of HIV disclosure, we can deliver workshops relating to issues affecting gay, bi, and other men who have sex with men as they relate to HIV, other STIs and sexual health.
    • We have workshops and trainings available for service providers as well as gay, bi, and other men who have sex with men! 

Mï Talk:

                                           MI Talk Website img

Looking for a positive change in your sex life?  Want healthier relationships?  Come chat with us about the sex you want and make it happen! Mï Talk is a project supporting gay, bisexual, trans and other men who have sex with men to have better sex lives, sexual relationships and sexual health!

Mï Talk is a 4-week one-on-one program. Through discussions and exercises with one of our specifically trained staff/volunteers, you will have a chance to meaningfully and freely talk about and reflect on your sex life, your sexual relationships, and your sexual health – whatever they mean to you! By the end of the fourth session, you will be able to identify some actions to achieve the sex you want!

Please contact Benjamin for more information or to book an information session!


The Sex You Want

The Sex You Want (TSYW) is an ongoing campaign of ACCKWA’s Gay Men’s Sexual Health Department, in collaboration with Ontario’s Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance. TSYW features animated videos, comic strips, and info-graphics that reflect the complex and diverse experiences of gay men grounded in science and a progressive attitude towards sex and pleasure. Check it out at www.thesexyouwant.ca!


Research:

We would like to thank everyone who filled out the Outlook Study survey and those who helped us give voice to those who are usually silenced. We recognize the importance of this data, so we have been keeping www.outlookstudy.ca updated with the results as they become available.

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Volunteer Opportunities and Peer Programs:

Do you enjoy meeting new people? Teaching new things to others? Want to make a difference in your community? Come volunteer with us!

Peers are defined by the GMSH Department as those who self-identify as members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and/or Queer community, including those living with and without HIV. Peer opportunities for this program include:

  • Condom Pack Stuffing Parties – roughly once a month on the second Tuesday from 6 to 9 p.m., volunteers assemble condom/lube packs for the GMSH Department’s various programming. There is no previous training or experience required for these positions, though volunteers need to be able to make it to our office and utilize fine motor skills for up to three hours. Volunteers for these positions do not need to identify as peers to qualify.
  • Park Outreach – From May to October, peers work in pairs to hang kits containing condoms, lube, testing information, and counselling referral information in wooded areas around the region where GBMSM cruise for sex, as well as clean up any waste that is found. While some direct contact with cruisers and/or members of the public is involved, this outreach work is largely passive. Peers in this program need to be able to go through ACCKWA’s general training as well as our specific park outreach training. They must also be able to navigate through heavily wooded areas in often unpleasant conditions.
  • Bar/Event Outreach – All year long, the GMSH Department makes appearances at various events and festivals where GBMSM are likely to attend in large numbers. This includes, but is not limited to, pride events, LGBTQ student events, and events that are not explicitly LGBTQ specific. Often, this form of outreach involves interacting with the public through a sexual health quiz game focused on GBMSM sexual health and history. Peers in this program need to go through ACCKWA’s general training, bar outreach training, familiarize themselves with the various resources we distribute, and demonstrate a general aptitude for up-to-date gay men’s sexual health knowledge.
  • Online Outreach – Every week, the GMSH Department performs online outreach to GBMSM in a variety of online platforms, from Grindr to Squirt! Peers assist with this program by “checking out” our tablet and performing outreach for an additional three hours per week on their own, on a rotating basis. Peers in this program must attend ACCKWA’s general volunteer training, followed by an extensive multi-stage online outreach training process that involves a PowerPoint presentation, case studies, a mock outreach session with live questions, and several supervised in-house trial sessions. To qualify for this program, prospective peers must demonstrate an extensive knowledge of up-to-date gay men’s sexual health knowledge, as well as knowledge of local community resources/events/spaces for appropriate referrals. They must also be comfortable working with tablets and multiple apps in a fast-paced environment, where they may be required to triage multiple conversations and requests for information at once.

If you are interested in volunteering with our program, please visit ACCKWA’s volunteer page.