The EMHC & Research
Not all research is created equally.
The truth is, what matters to you may not matter to everyone else. But it matters to us.
In Alberta, there is a huge gap in GBTQ men’s health research. The EMHC is working to help close that gap by working with you to identify YOUR needs (our first piece of “research” was a community needs assessment), by working with community members to design and deliver research initiatives, and by ensuring that results are delivered in a way that makes sense to you and helps inform decision-makers so that you have better access to the care and services you want and need.
In 2016, 282 new HIV infections were reported in Alberta, with men who have sex with men (MSM) accounting for nearly 40% of all new infections. In February 2016, Health Canada approved Truvada, a Gildead-manufactured version of emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF/FTC), for use as HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – which has been demonstrated to be nearly 100% effective at preventing new HIV infections if taken daily as prescribed.
Historically, the expansion of PrEP access has been limited by exorbitant costs, preventing most jurisdictions from offering publicly funded PrEP. The lack of public funding and challenges obtaining coverage through private insurers has made PrEP access challenging for those who cannot afford to pay for PrEP out-of-pocket. Recently, two generic versions of TDF/FTC have been approved for use as PrEP by Health Canada and are currently marketed nationally by their manufacturers. The ability to secure generic versions of PrEP have led to recent decisions by BC and Ontario to publicly fund the drug, joining Quebec which has done so for the past several years.
Despite this recent progress and the fact that jurisdictions with expanded PrEP access have seen significant decreases in new HIV infections, particularly amongst MSM, Alberta has not yet made a commitment to the delivery of publicly funded PrEP. This has rendered PrEP inaccessible to many Albertans who are unable to pay for PrEP out-of-pocket.
To help move necessary dialogue regarding increased access to PrEP in Alberta forward, throughout the summer and fall of 2016, the Edmonton Men’s Health Collective (EMHC) conducted two surveys aimed at gauging the attitudes, experiences, and preferences of Alberta gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (GBTQ) men relating to PrEP use and access in the province.
March 2018 Release: Alberta GBTQ Men and Access to Sexual Healthcare and Services
Ongoing Research Projects:
GBTQ Men and Effective Smoking Cessation Interventions: A Review of the Literature
Untitled Canadian Blood Services MSM Blood Donation Policy Research Initiative