Although the development of pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) has created a new prevention approach to HIV, access to these treatments remains challenging due to factors such as the cost of the medication. Yet while Ontario and Quebec are publicly funding PrEP, British Columbia is not.
Accordingly, this year's Gay Men's Health Summit, with the theme of Romancing the Package: Optimizing Combination Prevention, will be taking a look at these issues in the context of how to address HIV infection through combined approaches (including biomedical, behavioural, and structural interventions) for queer men across Canada.
The summit, organized by the Vancouver-based Community-Based Research Centre for Gay Men's Health (CBRC), will be held from Thursday to Saturday (November 2 to 4), the summit will be held at SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings Street).
Among this year's lineup of speakers are three health professionals breaking new ground in PrEP, including Clinique médicale l'Actuel founder Dr. Réjean Thomas from Montreal, New York–based HIV-prevention specialist and author Damon Jacobs (Rational Relating, Absolutely Should-less), and Davie Buyers Club founder Alex Smith.
Meanwhile, speakers will be covering a broad swath of health topics, including syphilis, HPV, online sexual health outreach, urban versus rural social contexts, casual sex, monogamy, medication, geographical considerations, addiction, crystal meth, obesity, loneliness, suicide, and mental health.
Specific sessions will address various demographic groups, including transgender, black, and First Nations people and communities, and geographic areas (Australia, U.K., Alberta, Nova Scotia).
The third day (November 4) will consist of free community conversations held at the nightclub XYYVR (1216 Bute Street).