Romancing the Package: Optimizing Combination Prevention
November 2nd and 3rd, 2017
This year’s Summit will address the potential gains to be realized by fully optimizing the combination prevention package of behavioural, societal, and biomedical approaches to HIV prevention for gay and bisexual men across Canada, and issues like structural stigma which may be holding us back. Get ready for another amazing event in which we tackle a key gay health problem with an aim to make progress on how we move forward.
For the last two decades, gay health promoters have been advocating for broader approaches to gay, bisexual, queer and other sexual minority men’s HIV prevention beyond those based on sexual behaviour alone. Research evidence has increasingly shown that sexual stigma negatively influences our HIV infection rates while doing even more insidious harm to our health than HIV itself.
The arrival of biomedical primary prevention in the form of PEP and PrEP- post and pre-exposure pharmaceutical regimes- may have seemed a medical work-around both behavioural and societal prevention strategies, but actual accessibility to these medications continues to be a formidable constraint on their effectiveness. The cost of prescriptions is just one of many barriers. Structural stigma surrounding gay sexualities seems to be hiding around every corner, in the form of unquestioned policies and practices keeping PEP and PrEP out of reach, and the promise of lower HIV acquisition rates beyond our grasp.
Combination prevention aims to bring behavioural, societal, and biomedical efforts together in a rights-based, evidence-informed “package” tailored to the broad health needs of specific populations, organized at the community level. Condom distribution is still the base but the whole package involves linking up with health services for rapid testing, early treatment as prevention (TasP), PEP availability, PrEP accessibility, stigma reduction and mental health.
2017 Keynote Speaker
Dr. Will Nutland, recent DrPH graduate of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, will recount the rise of Prepsters in London, UK, and his own involvement in the story behind the recent drop in gay men’s HIV infections. (Stay tuned for news on other Key Note Speakers.)
Submissions to Summit 2017 are now welcome in the form of oral presentations, panels, workshops, videos, roundtables, and readings.
Submission deadline is June 30, 2017. Please see CBRC site for full details on Summit conference and making submissions.