Projet MOBILISE is scaling up!

REACH 2.0 is happy to announce the successful funding for scale-up of the MOBILISE! Project, a community-based research project in Montreal that seeks to analyze and improve access to combination prevention strategies for MSM. The research team applied for REACH funding to facilitate the implementation of this project in Vancouver, Toronto, and Ottawa.

A recent consensus has emerged that suggests that a combination prevention approach that integrates behavioural and social interventions with emerging biomedical options (e.g. pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP) is what is needed to address the ongoing HIV epidemic. As of now, few studies have investigated how this can be accomplished effectively. In Canada, there is a great deal of imbalance in the availability of prevention programs and services across the country. Access to PrEP in Canada is currently not widely supported by public payers with the exception of Quebec, while access in other provinces remains limited.

Using ethnographic methods and a participatory approach, the MOBILISE! research team hopes to address this imbalance by mapping services provided by community organizations, community health centres, medical clinics and other public and private agencies.  A syndemic perspective will be adopted so as to include services and programs that deal with HIV and other STIs as well as substance use, mental health, and experiences with violence. The data analyzed from this mapping exercise would inform a pan-Canadian clinical trial of a combination HIV prevention approach for MSM that would capitalize on the potential of new biomedical prevention technologies, overcome the fragmentation between existing services, be attentive to the syndemics faced by MSM, and meaningfully integrate community perspectives.

Photo credit: Philippe Du Berger

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