British Columbia (BC) is currently experiencing a significant increase in syphilis cases, with infectious syphilis reaching unprecedented rates. Though there has been a slow and steady increase year over year since the early 2000s, a much more significant increase was noted in 2015, with 40% more cases seen compared to 2014. For 2016, the number of cases was on par with 2015, likely indicating that this is BC’s ‘new normal’.
Syphilis Action Plan
In early 2016, as a response to this significant public health issue, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) developed a Syphilis Action Plan in collaboration with the regional health authorities, clinicians, researchers, community-based organizations and other key stakeholders. The Action Plan takes a multi-pronged approach that involves various interventions aimed at addressing the increased rates, as well as activities aimed at understanding the epidemic.
The BCCDC is leading a mixed-methods study with the primary goal of better understanding some of the drivers of the syphilis epidemic in men who have sex with men (MSM), the population in BC disproportionately impacted by syphilis.
Study and eligibility
This study, led by Drs. Daniel Grace and Troy Grennan, is looking to speak with MSM about their sexual behaviours, to understand their attitudes and beliefs towards sex in general, and towards HIV, syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
Participants are eligible to participate if they meet the following criteria:
- A man who has sex with other men
- At least 18 years old
- Fluent in English
- Have been sexually active in the last 6 months
- HIV positive or have had an STI like syphilis or chlamydia in the past year.
Anyone interested in participating in a one hour, one-on-one interview can contact study research coordinator Ronita Nath at [email protected], or by phone at 604-707-5617. Participants will be compensated for their time.
If you would like to help us recruit participants for this study, please consider downloading and printing the study poster below (the PDF is also found under Additional Resources) to post in your clinic.