To our alliance, colleagues and community partners,

We are pleased to announce the availability of the GMSH new strategic plan. Entitled “Raising the Bar” this new plan presents the priorities and activities we will pursue over the next 5 years. It is the product of many months of engagement with researchers, community based workers at HIV/AIDS service organizations (ASOs) and gay and bisexual men living with and affected by HIV.

In Ontario, cisgender and transgender gay, bisexual, two-spirit, and other men who have sex with men remain disproportionately impacted by the HIV epidemic, with incidence rates remaining high for too long. It is one of several health inequities affecting our diverse communities. In some global jurisdictions, the prospect of ending the HIV epidemic is within reach. Increasing the uptake and expanding the availability of HIV treatment, pre-exposure prophylaxis and low-threshold sexual health service provision will require a sustained effort on the part of many stakeholders. In its role, the GMSH will focus on the prevention, treatment, and care cascade.

To achieve our goals and realize our vision we will employ 3 strategies:

1. NETWORKING AND COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION
GMSH will support the network of Ontario ASOs responding to gay men’s health to build capacity, facilitate collaboration, share resources, encourage learning, and ensure consistency in the delivery of HIV/STI prevention and other sexual health services across the province. In addition, GMSH will support the work of ASOs to strengthen capacity of agencies and programs within their local service networks to work with gay men.

2. RESOURCES AND CAMPAIGNS
GMSH will produce tools, educational resources, and evidence-informed social marketing campaigns that can be used by ASOs and other service providers to help gay men address sexual health and the syndemic factors that contribute to HIV/STI transmission and are barriers to engagement along the prevention, engagement and care cascade.

3. SKILLS BUILDING AND TRAINING
GMSH will support the development of ASO led gay men’s health and social services networks that 1) are clinically appropriate, knowledgeable, respectful, and supportive; and 2) address syndemic factors that affect gay men’s HIV and sexual health outcomes.

For gay men in Ontario, the next five years hold significant promise. With what we know, and the tools at our disposal we have the means to substantially reduce the number of new HIV infections amongst gay men and improve our health and wellbeing regardless of our HIV status. Toward that goal, and with the support of funding from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, GMSH will invest in ensuring that gay men have the services they need, not only to address the HIV epidemic, but to support their overall health and wellness. While success will depend on many factors, we remain confident and forward-looking.

For more information about the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance and our new strategic plan please email info@gmsh.ca