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.

‘I’m over the moon!’: patient-perceived outcomes of hepatitis C treatment

I’m over the moon!’: patient-perceived outcomes of hepatitis C treatment

Davoud Pourmarzi, Andrew Smirnov, Lisa Hall, Gerard FitzGerald, and Tony Rahman

Australian Journal of Primary Health 26(4) 319-324 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY20013

Submitted: 22 January 2020  Accepted: 29 April 2020   Published: 25 June 2020

Abstract

Understanding patient-perceived outcomes is crucial for assessing the effectiveness and acceptability of hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment. This study aimed to explore patient-perceived outcomes of receiving direct-acting antivirals (DAAs). This study was a part of a mixed-methods case study of the Prince Charles Hospital program for improving access to HCV treatment in community settings. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with nine patients who were in different stages of their treatment for HCV. The participants were recruited using purposive sampling. All interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. Patients emphasised ‘having more energy’ when reporting improvements in their physical health following treatment. They also reported a newly developed sense of freedom and hope. Improved physical and mental health empowered them to start a healthy lifestyle and to practise self-protection from the risk of re-infection. Patients highlighted their desire to help other patients to receive treatment, which was connected to their experience of the services that they received and their perceived health outcomes. Patients expect and experience various outcomes that are related to the physical, psychological and social aspects of living with, and being cured of HCV. Emphasis on the short-term outcomes of receiving HCV treatment may improve HCV treatment uptake and adherence rates.

Job vacancy at SHINE SA: Mental Health Clinician / Team Leader, Gender Wellbeing Service

SHINE SA, August 2020

Mental Health Clinician and Team Leader – Gender Wellbeing Service

  • PO3 Level (hourly rate of $44.29 – $46.97 based on experience), Part-time (0.5 FTE)
  • Fixed-term contract to 30 June 2021 with possibility of extension
  • Excellent Salary Sacrificing Scheme

SHINE SA is a leading not-for-profit provider of primary care services and education for sexual and relationship wellbeing. We work in partnership with government, health, education and community agencies, and communities to improve the sexual and reproductive health and relationship well-being of the community. We have an opportunity for a Mental Health Clinician (see Job and Person Specification for the appropriate qualifications) to lead the Gender Wellbeing Service, based in the CBD at our Hyde Street site.

In this role you will provide psychological therapies for gender questioning, trans and gender diverse people in the metropolitan area of Adelaide with mild to moderate mental health concerns.  You will work closely with the Intake and Peer Support Coordinator and Administrative Support worker in the team and have responsibility for overseeing a lived-experience peer support program for volunteers.

This is will be a challenging and rewarding role for the right person, offering a competitive salary and the ability to salary package under the generous conditions available only to not-for-profit organisations.

If you are interested in this role, you are required to address the essential minimum requirements as outlined in the Job and Person Specification available on our SHINE SA web site at the link below.

  • Find out more or apply here: 

Mental Health Clinician and Team Leader – Gender Wellbeing Service

Asian, Gay & COVID-19 (Free online event)

 Gay Asian Proud & Thorne Harbour Health, July 2020

A live online chat with James & Amirul – sharing their lived experience as same-sex attracted guys with Asian backgrounds.

Date And Time:

Thu, 6 August 2020, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM ACST

Living Room Sharing Session:

Join Gay Asian Proud (GAP) coordinators James and Amirul in this casual, friendly and insightful conversation about being gay, Asian, moving away from home and living in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions.

Listen to them share their experiences about living in Australia, overcoming challenges as a migrant and international student, maintaining emotional and mental well-being during the COVID-19 lockdown.

This session welcomes all of the LGBTIQ+ community and their allies. Attendees will be able to ask questions during the online chat which James & Amirul will endeavour to answer in a live Q & A after the session.

Meet the guys:

Amirul (or Rul for short) is a proud GAY-sian guy, born and raised in Sunny Singapore and has been living in Melbourne, Australia for almost 8 years. He first arrived in Australia back in 2012 as an international student and calls Melbourne home for now. Originally starting out as a member, he is now one of the volunteer facilitators for the social support group, Gay Asian Proud,

James is a migrant from Singapore and a former international student who has been living in Australia for more than 10 years. He is a Thorne Harbour Health peer education facilitator, and a Community Reference Group member at the Victorian Pride Centre. He writes “The Well-Fed Nomad”, a Facebook food blog about his cooking and eating experiences around the world. His passion for arts and culture has brought him to Asia and Europe to participate in cross-cultural leadership and international collaboration programs.

Hormones are not the key to younger women’s sexual function

Monash University, 22 July 2020

A Monash University study into the causes of sexual dysfunction in young women has found social factors play just as important a role as hormone levels, and hormone therapy should not be prescribed as the only treatment.

The study uncovered that while hormones, including androgens like testosterone, play a role, the things that matter more are whether a woman has children (parity), being partnered or taking psychoactive medication for depression or other mental health issues.