Engage is a 5-year Canadian collaboration between researchers and community-based organizations on HIV and sexual health among gay, bi, and queer men, including trans men, and other men who have sex with men (gbMSM) in Canada. Its three primary aims are to provide research evidence to inform HIV and STBBI prevention initiatives for Canadian gbMSM, build capacity for a pan-Canadian network on HIV and sexual health research for gbMSM, and integrate community engagement into all stages of the project to enhance community-researcher collaboration and bidirectional knowledge exchange.
Engage can be broken down into four main components:
A multi-site cross-sectional study in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal: The study aims to measure prevalent and recent infections of HIV and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) among gbMSM populations of these major Canadian cities. This will allow researchers to assess variations across regions and conduct detailed analyses linking prevention efforts to health outcomes.
Three novel and improved HIV prevention interventions: Based on the multisite study and working with community-based organizations, we will develop and conduct rigorous pilot evaluations of HIV prevention interventions.
Research capacity building initiatives: We aim to increase HIV- and sexual health-related research capacity for gbMSM in Canada by offering studentship and training opportunities to academic researchers and community investigators.
Community Engagement: Each study city (Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal) will have an actively involved community engagement committee whose function is to galvanize interest and participation in research among communities of gbMSM.
Engage is funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN), and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR).