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.

 

 

Sex and gender: modifiers of health, disease, and medicine

The Lancet, Volume 396, Issue 10250, 22–28 August 2020, Pages 565-582
Mauvais-Jarvis, F., et al

Clinicians can encounter sex and gender disparities in diagnostic and therapeutic responses. These disparities are noted in epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, disease progression, and response to treatment. This Review discusses the fundamental influences of sex and gender as modifiers of the major causes of death and morbidity. We articulate how the genetic, epigenetic, and hormonal influences of biological sex influence physiology and disease, and how the social constructs of gender affect the behaviour of the community, clinicians, and patients in the health-care system and interact with pathobiology. We aim to guide clinicians and researchers to consider sex and gender in their approach to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases as a necessary and fundamental step towards precision medicine, which will benefit men’s and women’s health.

 

Client violence towards workers in the child, family and community welfare sector

Australian Institute of Family Studies. CFCA Paper No. 54 – March 2020

This paper explores the prevalence and presentation of client violence towards workers, considering any violent or aggressive behaviour from clients, direct associates of clients, and friends or family members of clients. It compares current research on client violence towards workers to official data reports, and considers why there might be a discrepancy between the two sets of data. It details the effects that client violence has on workers personally and the implications for their practice. Finally, it outlines strategies for improving responses to client violence towards workers, including practical responses that can be implemented at an organisational, educational and policy level.

Resource on sexual harassment in the workplace during the festive season

Working Women’s Centre SA Inc, November 2019

The Working Women’s Centre SA Inc has created a guide for employers to assist them with preventing & responding to sexual harassment in the workplace during the festive season.

This guide will assist employers in planning a safe and truly celebratory event. It is designed to be shared amongst workplaces in the leadup to the work Christmas party.

 

Towards a Safe Place: Raising Awareness of Domestic Violence in LGBTIQA+ Communities (resource)

Catalyst Foundation, 2019

The Towards a Safe Place project has created resources for LGBTIQA+ communities to use both as individuals or in communities to support and inform at risk individuals of available services and supports in relation to Domestic Violence and to increase awareness and understanding of Domestic Violence and its impact within LGBTIQA+ communities.

We have worked closely with LGBTIQA+ communities to develop these resources and are thankful for the help and support of our Reference Group comprising individuals, community organisations and service providers who have helped us in the development of these resources.

We hope the resources are used to inform and support at risk individuals and the wider community on LGBTIQA+ specific Domestic Violence and that service providers use the resources to continually develop and improve service responses and avenues for reporting domestic violence.

Training in culturally appropriate LGBTIQA+ domestic violence service delivery and response strategies is available and has been developed in partnership with Uniting Communities Adelaide’s Bfriend Project and a local LGBTIQA+ social group Pride of the South. If your organisation would like information on the training please contact us on (08) 81688700 or by email 

The project was supported by South Australian Government Attorney-General’s  Department, Bfriend (Uniting Communities) and Pride of the South.

Resources to download:

 

Among transgender children, gender identity as strong as in cisgender children, study shows

University of Washington, November 18, 2019

Children who identify as the gender matching their sex at birth tend to gravitate toward the toys, clothing and friendships stereotypically associated with that gender.

Transgender children do the same with the gender they identify as, regardless of how long they have actually lived as a member of that gender. New findings from the largest study of socially-transitioned transgender children in the world, conducted by researchers at the University of Washington, show that gender identity and gender-typed preferences manifest similarly in both cis- and transgender children, even those who recently transitioned.

The study, published Nov. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, followed more than 300 transgender children from across the United States, as well as nearly 200 of their cisgender siblings and about 300 unrelated cisgender children as a control group.