FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Rapid HIV self-test kits provided as part of “Sex Now” national GBT2Q health survey
Vancouver, British Columbia (April 20, 2021) – Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) announced today the launch of the 2021 edition of Sex Now—Canada’s largest health survey for gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer (GBT2Q) men and non-binary people. This year’s edition consists of a significant new component: the mailing of up to three rapid HIV self-test kits to each participant (18 years or older) who requests them.
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced new barriers to regular HIV testing. This is why Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) has launched Test@Home as part of this year’s Sex Now. Test@Home is a nationwide partnership with REACH Nexus—a major funder of the study, and a national research group working on solutions for HIV and other STBBIs in Canada. All participants who are 18 and older will be able to opt-into receiving free rapid HIV self-test kits by mail while completing the survey. Everyone who is eligible can ask for up to three kits to use themselves or to share with friends or people in their sexual or social networks.
“We know that a lot of people who participate in Sex Now are people who care about their community and they participate for altruistic reasons,” says Dr. Nathan Lachowsky, CBRC’s Research Director and Principal Investigator of the Sex Now survey. “We have an opportunity to have a ripple effect with this survey, not just in terms of collecting data but also in giving participants and those they love a direct benefit.”
CBRC hopes to distribute 15,000 rapid HIV self-test kits through Sex Now.
ABOUT SEX NOW
Developed by CBRC with recruitment from coast to coast to coast in several languages (English, French, and new this year: Spanish, Punjabi, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese), Sex Now has been collecting and sharing valuable data on the physical and mental health of the country’s GBT2Q men for more than twenty years.
“For two decades, Sex Now has provided the most comprehensive national data on our communities,” says Lachowsky. “Because we have this legacy of data, we have a strong ability to identify what progress has been made, what progress has been reversed, and what’s not going well. This year, we are in a unique position to also discover what’s happened to our communities in this phase of COVID-19.”
Sex Now data is made publicly available through Our Stats an online visualization dashboard that community organizations and policy makers across the country can use to advocate for better programs and resources to help improve health outcomes for GBT2Q men and non-binary people. Over the years, Sex Now data has been used to help inform public policy around GBT2Q health issues, from advocacy around conversion therapy law and the blood ban, to justifying funding for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), to informing local public health strategies and services.
Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) promotes the health of gay, bi, trans, Two-Spirit, and queer men (GBT2Q) through research and intervention development. CBRC’s core pillars – community-led research, knowledge exchange, network building, and leadership development – position the organization as a thought leader, transforming ideas into actions that make a difference in our communities. CBRC was incorporated in 1999 and is a non-profit charitable organization. Our main office is located in Vancouver, British Columbia; we also have satellite offices located in Edmonton, Toronto, and Halifax.
For more information about this Sex Now study, please contact Ben Klassen, CBRC’s Research Manager: [email protected]
For interviews, please contact Michael Kwag, CBRC’s Knowledge Exchange and Policy Development Director: [email protected]