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.

 

 

Phylogenetic clustering networks among heterosexual migrants with new HIV diagnoses post-migration in Australia

Phylogenetic clustering networks among heterosexual migrants with new HIV diagnoses post-migration in Australia

Rachel Sacks-Davis  et al

PLOS One

Published: September 1, 2020

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0237469

Background:

It is estimated that approximately half of new HIV diagnoses among heterosexual migrants in Victoria, Australia, were acquired post-migration. We investigated the characteristics of phylogenetic clusters in notified cases of HIV among heterosexual migrants.

Conclusion:

Migrants appear to be at elevated risk of HIV acquisition, in part due to intimate relationships between migrants from the same country of origin, and in part due to risks associated with the broader Australian HIV epidemic. However, there was no evidence of large transmission clusters driven by heterosexual transmission between migrants. A multipronged approach to prevention of HIV among migrants is warranted.

 

Changing Epidemiology of Gonorrhea in Adelaide, South Australia

Ellis SL, Tsourtos G, Waddell R, Woodman R, Miller ER.

Changing Epidemiology of Gonorrhea in Adelaide, South Australia.

Sex Transm Dis. 2020 Jun;47(6):402-408. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001162.

Abstract

Background: Gonorrhea is a significant public health concern. The changing epidemiology of gonorrhea in Australia has highlighted the need for detailed examination of surveillance data to determine population groups at greatest risk for infection.

Methods: We analyzed deidentified gonorrhea notification data for the years 2012 to 2017, in Adelaide (N = 3680), calculating age-adjusted notification and antibiotic resistance rates. Age, gender, year, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status were assessed for associations with gonorrhea notifications using negative binomial, log binomial and spatial autoregressive models. Maps were generated to examine spatial localization of gonorrhea rates in Adelaide.

Results: Gonorrhea notification rates in Adelaide increased annually, with a 153% adjusted increase in rates from 2012 to 2017, localized to specific areas and inversely associated with income levels. The increase in rates in 2016 and 2017 was associated with young heterosexuals from low income areas. Azithromycin-resistant notifications increased significantly in 2016 in young heterosexuals. Reinfections were significantly more likely in men who have sex with men than other population groups.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates the changing epidemiology of gonorrhea in Adelaide from a largely men who have sex with men profile toward an increase in young heterosexual gonorrhea. This could be seen as a harbinger for future increases in heterosexually transmitted HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in Australia.

  • Abstract only freely available online. For full text, purchase access here or see your librarian.

Gay Asian Proud free online event this Friday 18th September

Thorne Harbour Health, 16th September 2020

Gay Asian Proud (GAP) is excited to organise an online chat, Questioning Stereotypes And Assumptions, this Friday, 18 September, 6.00 PM – 8.00 PM pm AEST (5.30 PM  – 7.30 PM SA time). 

We welcome all GAP members, and Asian same-sex attracted men (cis and transgender).

If you are not a GAP member yet, please email gap@thorneharbour.org to be placed on our mailing list. We will invite you to upcoming events.

We want to hear your experience with stereotypes about Asian gay and bisexual men, the assumptions we make based on our cultural upbringing, our inherent bias, and how we could address them in a respectful way that facilitates intercultural understanding. This is your platform. We want to hear you talk.

Facilitated by James & Amirul, Coordinators of Gay Asian Proud (GAP), a social support group for Asian gay & bisexual men (cis and transgender).

Sign up now at Eventbrite to claim your FREE ticket! We can’t wait to see you this Friday! 

 

Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM

Disparities in characteristics in accessing public Australian sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Anysha M. Walia, Christopher K. Fairley, Catriona S. Bradshaw, Marcus Y. Chen, Eric P.F. Chow

First published: 31 August 2020
https://doi.org/10.1111/1753-6405.13029
Abstract:

Objectives: Accessible health services are a key element of effective human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and sexually transmitted infection (STI) control. This study aimed to examine whether there were any differences in accessing sexual health services between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible men who have sex with men (MSM) in Melbourne, Australia.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective, cross‐sectional study of MSM attending Melbourne Sexual Health Centre between 2016 and 2019. Demographic characteristics, sexual practices, HIV testing practices and STI diagnoses were compared between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM.

Results: We included 5,085 Medicare‐eligible and 2,786 Medicare‐ineligible MSM. Condomless anal sex in the past 12 months was more common in Medicare‐eligible compared to Medicare‐ineligible MSM (74.4% vs. 64.9%; p<0.001) although the number of partners did not differ between groups. There was no difference in prior HIV testing practices between Medicare‐eligible and Medicare‐ineligible MSM (76.1% vs. 77.7%; p=0.122). Medicare‐ineligible MSM were more likely to have anorectal chlamydia compared to Medicare‐eligible MSM (10.6% vs. 8.5%; p=0.004).

Conclusions: Medicare‐ineligible MSM have less condomless sex but a higher rate of anorectal chlamydia, suggesting they might have limited access to STI testing or may be less willing to disclose high‐risk behaviour.

Implications for public health: Scaling up access to HIV and STI testings for Medicare‐ineligible MSM is essential.

Flux Study COVID-19 Diary Recruitment and Report

Kirby Institute, UNSW, July 2020

Social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19 may affect how gay and bisexual men are arranging their sex lives and taking care of their health. And this will likely also affect trends in HIV infection and STIs over coming months, or even years. Monitoring the impact of COVID-19, before, during, and after the pandemic, is essential to understanding and responding to trends in HIV infection, mental health, and STIs.

​This study investigating the lived experiences of COVID-19 among gay and bisexual men including isolation, support, mental health and resilience, income loss, and access to health services. We will address how gay and bisexual men experience, engage with, and emerge from, COVID-19.

What does participation in this research require? 

If you decide to take part in this study, we will ask you to do the following:

  1. Your first questionnaire: This questionnaire collects information about you and your previous experiences.

  2. Weekly diary: After completing the your first survey, you will be asked to complete a 5-minute diary each Sunday.

What’s in it for you? 

We value our participants! To show our appreciation, for every survey you complete, you’ll automatically go in a raffle to win prizes in the form of gift cards to the value of $200.

Links