MOBILISE! news : a busy summer with KTE

20915637_1053996861403526_3822078460514067046_nThe MOBILISE! team took advantage of the summer to go out to meet communities and give them some results from the project, raise awareness about combination prevention methods and introduce current resources. This KTE was specifically adapted for summer season. Many diverse populations benefited from the project and the team’s expertise during several guided tours through the Village, the BBQ during the Montréal Pride, as well as the information booth during Pride Community day and direct interaction with people in the Village. Organised in collaboration with L’Astérisk, a community-based organisation, and initiated by Bruno Laprade, four tours gave an account of  the history of the community mobilization of the LGBT+ community in the Village by linking it with current information on the resources and prevention methods. In addition, project trainees dressed in MOBILISE! t-shirts have gone out to meet people in bars, coffee shops and public spaces and to bring discussion around different prevention methods. These discussions allowed the people to question their perceptions and to deconstruct prejudices about these methods. The MOBILISE! BBQ brought together participants, collaborators and supporters of the project in a friendly atmosphere by enjoying hot dogs and hamburgers. The public was able to discover the project’s results by reading various information boards and participating in games created by the team. The most experienced have tangled their legs playing MOBILISE! Twister. Each color represented a category of prevention and the aim of the game was to “combine strategies while having fun”, replied Gabriel Giroux, community project agent of MOBILISE!

Participants tested their knowledge and discovered the project’s research results with the MOBILISE! Wheel of Fortune. The Wheel was also a great success on the Community Day at the Montréal Pride. Indeed, the players came after one another during the whole day. In addition to winning small condom pouch, participants engaged in conversation on the issues about sexual health and different methods of prevention. Finally, the MOBILIZE! researchers have applied for a new grant to continue the project in the next five years. In short, a successful and well-filled summer!

You can consult the Facebook page and the MOBILSIE! website for more information.



Design an intervention with, by and for women living with HIV and victims of domestic violence

Scientific literature has demonstrated links between HIV and violence against women. Women who are victims of domestic violence are at greater risk of contracting STI, including HIV, as they experience more difficulties negotiating condom use, for instance. In addition, a large number of women living with HIV experience more violence in their intimate relationship. Knowing this, are there services in Quebec that offer support for women caught in the intersection of HIV and violence? Community-based research led by sexology researcher Mylène Fernet (UQAM) notes that HIV organizations do not sufficiently deal with domestic violence issues. In addition, shelters for women who are victims of domestic violence rarely address the issue of HIV. The study’s objective is to build connections between these two sectors to create strong partnerships and interorganizational knowledge and expertise transfers.

The first stage of this project took place during a two-day event, June 28 and 29, where Executive Directors, stakeholders and service recipients from both HIV and domestic violence organisations met to share their respective realities and knowledge in group interviews and in joint discussion activities. It was also an opportunity for participants to enhance their knowledge about HIV and domestic violence through training and knowledge dissemination activities. At the end of these days, three avenues of action have been put forward and will be the subject of the next step of this community-based research project to elaborate these different actions. The need for collaboration between these organisations proved essential, and participants of this event have showed great interest in developing their partnership.


A Francophone Summit on the Reduction of Drug-Related Risks in Montreal

May 13, 2017, the day before the Harm Reduction International Conference, the first French-language summit on harm reduction of drug-related was held in Montreal. Many Francophone countries are affected by the risks related to drugs, criminalization and stigmatization, and the need to sit down together seemed urgent. That day, many panelists from Europe and Quebec gathered together. However, the fact was raised that attendance from Africa was, unfortunately, very low.

The day was structured around roundtable discussions and other dialogue spaces where several organization representatives, community stakeholders and communities members were given the opportunity to speak from their various perspectives and viewpoints concerning risk reduction. Several innovative projects were presented, including the one by Cédric Fazan, director of Switzerland’s Foundation Le TREMPLIN, which works with people with addiction and/or great social insecurity. The project consists of having day centre users participate in a microbrewer’s operations to produce their own, better quality, alcoholic drink. In addition, this project allows them to take part in a daily activity of self-improvement and work integration.

The summit also provided an opportunity to share various points of view, notably on the sensitive issue of identity. In fact, people who use drugs are often reduced to “drug users,” a very prejudicial label. To remedy this negative identification, a much more positive one was proposed: “chemically enhanced man or woman,” expression in reference to physic or intellectual capacities enhance through new technologies. Finally, the day ended with a thought-provoking question: “Is risk reduction happening because of drug use or because of prohibition?” To be continued in 2018!


Provider Perspectives on HIV Point-of-Care Testing: CAHR Poster

We wProvider Perspectives on delivering HIV POCTere excited to share our poster Provider Perpectives on HIV Point-of-Care Testing: Results of an International Scoping Review the Canadian Association for HIV Research conference that was held in Montréal! The poster inspired a lot of really interesting conversations, ranging from suggestions to a purely peer-delivered model of HIV testing, to discussions about the broadening scope of practice for pharmacists delivering testing. There were many conversations about the recommended contributors of success, (1) ensuring there is a strong champion, (2) clear and consistent training, and (3) ensuring there is an effective referral system and linkage to care. This last piece was emphasized by many of those who stopped to chat. While the test itself is critical as a diagnostic tool, it is important to ensure that the next steps for the patient are clear not only for them, but for the providers so that individuals may either engaged in treatment or learn useful harm reduction strategies.



“Capacity-bridging”: Community-based research beyond “capacity building”

The term “expert” ofPanel 1 (9)ten refers to scholars of great universities, however experts also exist outside of academia. In the context of community-based research, community members act as experts in their field and teach researchers. This is referred to “capacity-bridging” rather than “capacity-building”, which is often use d in community-based research. This theme was the subject of a stimulating discussion at the Canadian Association for HIV Research (CAHR) Conference ancillary event, on Wednesday, April 5 2017. This event, titled “Capacity-building or capacity-bridging: re-envisioning community-based research” and organized by COCQ-SIDA and its collaboratPanel 2 (7) (2)ors, was an opportunity to present this concept and its context of implementation. It was illustrated by community-based research projects and a participatory evaluation methodology that put this concept into practice. “Capacity-Bridging” initiative, proposed by the Aboriginal HIV & AIDS Community-Based Research Collaborative Center (AHA Center), emphasizes building knowledge and capacity for everyone involved in the research. The Mobilize! and Mon BUZZ projects coordinators have put forward the active and essential involvement of community members in building research at every stage of the project. Finally, REACH’s Flipped WPanel 3 (1) (2)orkshops in Evaluation offers ongoing support and learnings for several community-based organizations who are evaluating their projects. These workshops are also good examples of capacity bridging where each stakeholder is an active participant in the process. With about forty participants and a dynamic discussion, let us say that this event was a success.




Being Pragmatic in Getting to the 90-90-90 Targets in Canada

The OHTN, REACH 2.0, in collaboration with the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Living with HIV Innovation Team, are hosting a lunch symposium at CAHR this Friday, April 7th from 12:30-14:00.

This program science plenary will showcase work underway in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec to build and scale-up monitoring of the HIV care cascade. Presenters will share information about the data platforms and systems evolving to monitor the cascade and about interventions being used to help people living with HIV stay connected to care. The session will engage participants in a discussion about ways to encourage and support cross-sectoral collaborations, and the coordination of efforts within and across provincial health and public health systems to achieve (and exceed) the 90-90-90 target goals.

Learning Objectives

  1. Highlight efforts and initiatives underway across the country to monitor the HIV Care Cascade and support people living with HIV to engage in and stay connected to care
  2. Review the data platforms and systems necessary to monitor the cascade, and innovative and pragmatic interventions getting underway to engage and retain people in care
  3. Describe contextual enabling / adaptive factors and barriers that can occur in building and scaling up these health system models of care in Canada, and possible solutions
  4. Gain insight into efforts needed to encourage and support cross-sectoral collaborations, and the coordination of efforts to support 90-90-90 goals


REACH 2.0 Welcomes New CBR Research Coordinator in Montréal

REACH 2.0 welcomes Charlotte Guerlotté! Charlotte will coordinate the community-based research program at COCQ-SIDA in Québec.

charlotte_guerlottéCharlotte holds a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Montréal. Passionate about identity issues and intercultural relations, she has developed several research projects on these themes. Her master’s thesis dealt with identity dynamics of Guadeloupean youth from hip-hop culture and from disadvantaged neighborhoods. She has maintained a particular interest in populations considered marginalized or stigmatized with the aim to work with community to move beyond prejudices. She has also developed a community-based research for the Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI) about the intercultural program that pairs a newcomer in Quebec and a member of the host society. Before becoming passionate about anthropology, Charlotte completed a Bachelor in Communication at the University of Nice in France and at the University of Western Ontario and she worked for various newspapers in Guadeloupe. She is also interested in photography and she is always ready for an outdoor activity!

She is delighted to work with people living with HIV and community based organizations to reduce stigma and improve the quality of health services and to participate in the fight to end the epidemic of HIV / AIDS. In addition, it is an honour for her to collaborate with the members of REACH and the CBR Collaborative Centre.


Survey Goal Reached!

Sincere thanks to all those who took the time to complete the MOBILISE! Survey. Thank you as well to everyone who helped make the questionnaire a success by reaching out to a broad range of gay, bisexual and trans men in our communities. Responses to the questionnaire will be used in a number of ways:

  • The anonymous testimonials provided by respondents will support efforts to update services and make them easier to access.
  • Clinics, agencies, community organizations and other service providers will have a better understanding of our circumstances and will be able to coordinate together and adapt their services.
  • Community workers and service providers such as doctors and nurses will be able to adjust how they do their work to better meet our needs.

The results of the research will help us to formulate recommendations and make plans to take action.

Between June 2016 and January 2017, 1028 individuals responded to at least part of the questionnaire, and 713 (69%) respondents completed it to the very end. On average, participants took 67.7 minutes to fill out the survey.

With respect to sexual orientation, a majority of respondents (85.3%) identify as homosexual or gay, 8.6% as bisexual, 5.2% in another way (queer, two-spirited) and 0.9% as heterosexual. In terms of HIV status, 10.3% of respondents do not know their HIV status and 74.3% are HIV-negative. Among the 15.4% of respondents who are HIV-positive, 95.3% had an undetectable viral load. With respect to gender identity, 94.6% of respondents identify as cisgender, 2.6% as transgender, and 2.7% as queer. Those who identify as queer are less likely to know their HIV status.

Respondents ranged from 18 to 75 years of age, but in general the sample is young with an average age of 39.4 years and 47% of respondents between 25 and 34 years of age. In general, just over half of respondents (54.9%) say they are not in a relationship, but this proportion goes up to 75.5% among those who do not know their HIV status. In general, respondents’ level of education and personal income are high: 30% say they earn $60,000 or more per year and over 50% have a DEC or bachelor’s degree. Respondents aged 18 to 24 years and those with an annual income under $20,000 are less likely to be aware of their HIV status. With respect to place of birth, 72.2% of respondents were born in Quebec, 7.6% were born in another province and 20.2% in another country. Participants born outside Canada are more likely to know their HIV status. French is the first language of 81.5% of respondents, with English and Spanish respectively the first language of 8.8% and 4.2% of respondents. In terms of cultural identity or racialization, 87.5% of respondents identify as white or Caucasian, 5.1% as Latino, 2.3% as Arab or Maghreb and 1.4% as black.


Est-ce que votre projet répond à un besoin du milieu communautaire?


Rapport de consultation 2016

Un des principes de la recherche communautaire est de mettre en œuvre des projets de recherche qui sont pertinents pour les communautés affectées par le VIH/sida. Mais encore faut-il créer des occasions de rassemblement où ces besoins sont exprimés, mis en contexte et comparés les uns aux autres. Ce faisant,  les personnes concernées évaluent les besoins prioritaires et de solides partenariats se créent, ce qui facilitera la réalisation des projets pressentis. L’exercice peut s’avérer plus difficile qu’il n’y paraît! Une fois les besoins exprimés, que fait-on du résultat de cette consultation? Est-ce que celle-ci est réellement un tremplin vers une programmation de recherche innovante?

Soucieux à la fois de mieux connaître les besoins de recherche prioritaires et d’opérationnaliser la démarche, un comité de travail diversifié a procédé à l’organisation d’un processus de consultation en ligne débouchant sur la “Deuxième rencontre de recherche communautaire VIH/sida”. À cette occasion, des questions de recherche pertinentes ont été rédigées. Alors est-ce que le projet qui vous intéresse correspond à un réel besoin?

Nous vous invitons à le découvrir en consultant le rapport de consultation ci-dessous ou en suivant le lien (PDF, 6 Mo)!


MOBILISE featured in LGBT in the City!

Jason Noel (LGBT in the City) chatted with Joanne Otis about the MOBILISE survey and what it takes to really make a difference. LGBT in the City is a Facebook page that encourages diversity and supports local talent and entrepreneurs in the Montreal LGBT community.

Watch and share widely (video in French)!

For more news in English:

Recruitment for MOBILISE! focus groups in Montreal underway (November 2016)

The MOBILISE! community forum in Montreal:  what was accomplished? (October 2016)

The MOBILISE! discussion kit:  supporting community mobilization around combination prevention (July 2016)

Combination prevention in 4 cities (May 2016)

Updating the “map” of prevention services (March 2016)

New prevention research (November 2015)


To subscribe to the MOBILISE! mailing list (bi-monthly email newsletter):