Digital chemsex support and care: The potential of just-in-time adaptive interventions

International Journal of Drug Policy, Volume 85, November 2020

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2020.102927

T. Platteau, C. Herrijgers, J. de Wit

Abstract

Chemsex among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) has received increasing attention as a public health concern in recent years. Chemsex can affect a variety of aspects of the lives of GBMSM and contribute to physical, social and emotional health burden. Starting from a continuum perspective of chemsex, rather than a binary view of problematic vs. non-problematic use, we argue that men engaging in chemsex at different points in their chemsex journey may benefit from tailored and personalized support to cope with the various and evolving challenges and concerns that may be related to their chemsex behavior. To date, interactive digital communication technologies are not much used to provide support and care for GBMSM engaging in chemsex, neither for community-based support and care nor by health services. This suggests potential for missed opportunities, as GBMSM are generally avid users of these technologies for social connections and hookups, including in relation to chemsex. Recent research has provided emerging evidence of the potential effects of so-called just in time adaptive interventions (JITAI) to provide effective support and care for a variety of health issues. JITAI hold much promise for the provision of appropriate, tailored support and care for GBMSM at different points in the chemsex journey. Co-designing JITAI with potential users and other stakeholders (co-design) is key to success. At the Institute for Tropical Medicine, in Antwerp (Belgium), we initiated the Chemified project to develop an innovative digital chemsex support and care tool for GBMSM. This project illustrates how current understanding of chemsex as a journey can be integrated with a JITAI approach and make use of co-design principles to advance the available support and care for GBMSM engaging in chemsex.

 

 

How sexual assault survivors can feel in control during cervical screenings

ABC Life By Kellie Scott / 12th August 2020
Kate* avoids cervical screenings.The 34-year-old from Sydney is a survivor of sexual assault and finds the physical examination re-traumatising.

Kate’s experience is not unique.

One in five Australian women has experienced sexual violence since the age of 15. And research shows those who have experienced sexual abuse, either as adults or children, are less likely to attend regular cervical screening.

Understanding the role of law and culture in Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities in responding to and preventing family violence

ANROWS, 2020

Family violence within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities attracts considerable attention in policy, research and practice.

Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have advocated for community-led approaches to family violence that are culturally safe, involve Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander justice models and recognise Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Law and Culture.

This project used a strengths-based approach to explore the role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Law and Culture plays in prevention, intervention and healing in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family violence, and how this can be supported. The project was grounded in an understanding of family violence as shaped by the impacts of colonisation.

The research was undertaken in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander place-based programs in six sites: the Kimberley (two sites) and the Pilbara (Western Australia), the Tiwi Islands and Darwin (Northern Territory), and Mornington Island (Queensland).

The final report emphasises the need for improved understandings within mainstream systems and services of the nature of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family obligations and interconnections, as well as acknowledgement of the link between violence and issues that stem from colonisation, such as alcohol misuse and intergenerational trauma. It recommends a greater focus on prevention, healing and diversions from the criminal legal system; the involvement of both men and women in the design and implementation of local family violence strategies; and interventions that worked at the family, rather than individual, level.

Tickets to the LGBTI Family Violence Forum available now (free online events)

Thorne Harbour Health, 22nd July 2020

Effecting Change and Accountability: Family Violence Interventions for LGBTI Communities: Monday 10th to Friday 14th August 2020

Since the release of Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence recommendations in 2016, LGBTI family violence service providers and mainstream family violence services who are attaining rainbow tick accreditation have worked more deliberately to develop and sustain inclusive and informed responses to LGBTI people using or experiencing family violence.

This annual community-led forum offers a platform to LGBTI community organisations and allied organisations to present their work, share knowledge, skills and look at service areas that need further development. This forum will provide information, presentations, interactive workshops and networking opportunities for service providers and other professionals about family violence in LGBTI communities.

We invite practitioners and community advocates from family violence sector and LGBTI community sectors, allied health sector practitioners, policy writers, victim survivor advocates, community organisers and people who are committed to the work to end family violence and break down LGBTI stigma and discrimination, increase community connectedness, improve community awareness of the needs of LGBTI communities, as well as striving to remove barriers to LGBTI inclusion, celebration, and embracing diversity.

Tickets available now: 

Accessing pharmacotherapy (opioid replacement therapy) during COVID-19

Alcohol and Drug Foundation (Australia), April 27th 2020

There are now new challenges for people who access opioid replacement therapy (ORT) due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Many may be experiencing anxiety and fear due to COVID-19 and trying to reduce and mitigate these feelings is vital.

In most cases, people who are on ORT are required to visit their health clinic or pharmacy on a daily basis. This can be more difficult for people right now, due to restrictions on movement and the social distancing regulations imposed to curtail COVID-19.

 

Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from CALD backgrounds in Australia

ANROWS, June 2020

Crossing the line: Lived experience of sexual violence among trans women of colour from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in Australia

This research set out to increase understanding of the lived experience of being a trans woman of colour living in Australia, in relation to gender transitioning and experiences of sexual violence.

Using a large comparative survey, the research situates trans women of colour’s lived experience of sexual violence within the range of sexual violence experienced by other women, including lesbian, bisexual and queer women, and heterosexual women.

This research highlights that the experiences and needs of trans women in relation to sexual violence remain poorly understood by many healthcare providers, legislators, police and policymakers, with the experiences and needs of trans women of colour being the least understood. The absence of culturally competent information and knowledge about transgender experience, accompanied by misinformation, can lead to stigma, prejudice and discrimination, resulting in unmet health and justice needs for trans women.