In Vancouver, at 584 participants, we are nearing the final stretch in our baseline recruitment. However we still have 150 participants to go. Managing both Momentum and Engage cohort participants has created a capacity challenge that we are seeking a solution to. We are hoping to add an additional day of appointments once we hire a new nurse. As we are currently averaging about 30 participants per month, we have decided to add more seeds to the study.
Recruitment continues to go slower than expected for the Engage Toronto site with 411 participants by the end of January. To address this challenge, the Engage Toronto Research Team has conducted a series of activities to create wider awareness of the study and encourage participation. In addition to hosting a knowledge translation and exchange event in October, outreach has been conducted at events throughout Toronto, including the Pride Toronto festival in June and the Scotiabank AIDS Walk in September. Ads have also been distributed across various online platforms, including Grindr and porn sites. Furthermore, seed participants are being added to the study on an ongoing basis to start new recruitment chains.
In Montreal baseline recruitment has been completed for some time. The Engage-Montreal team has been busy contacting participants to invite them for their one-year follow-up visit. Our team has put in place a system to optimize participant retention, but some participants have been lost to follow up, either because they did not consent to be contacted for future Engage studies or because they could not be reached after several attempts using the contact methods they provided. So far, 579 participants have come in for their cycle 2 visits, and cycle 2 data collection should be completed in early July 2019.
Engage-Montreal had a very successful consultation with the newly re-formed CEC in November 2018. In the first part of the meeting, we presented some RDS-adjusted cycle 1 findings related to HIV testing, PrEP and other prevention strategies to the group, and collected their impressions. The second half of the CEC consultation consisted of a discussion on the knowledge translation methods that would have the most traction in Montreal. We received lots of very tangible and useful feedback from our CEC members, and the Engage-Montreal team will be putting together a summary of their suggestions to share with the team. Stay tuned!
Engage-Montreal has submitted three abstracts to CAHR 2019, on the subjects of HIV testing, PrEP and chlamydia/gonorrhea infection. Putting these presentations and abstracts together highlighted several methodological questions related to RDS-adjustment and reporting, and we look forward to further investigating these questions as the data analysis process continues.
Dr. Daniel Grace, Engage Co-Principal Investigator, received a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Sexual and Gender Minority Health. Through Engage, HPV-SAVE, and other projects, Daniel will continue to explore issues concerning health equity and access to services among sexual and gender minority populations, including gay, bi, and queer men. Congratulations, Daniel!
On 17 October 2018, the Engage Toronto Research Team conducted a knowledge translation and exchange event to share preliminary findings from the Engage study and to receive feedback from the local community. Titled “Class is in Session: Preliminary Findings from the Engage Study,” the event had a back-to-school/sex ed. theme in response to recent provincial debates regarding sex education. The event had over 40 attendees and included three presentations of preliminary analyses of Engage data, an interactive arts exercise, a drag performance, and conversations about Engage findings and gay, bi, and queer men’s health more broadly (click here to check out our presentations from the event). Photos from the event below.
February 18th, 2019