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GMSH 2021: Queer Sex After HIV

Our 2021 virtual conference "Queer Sex After HIV" took place over 4 weeks in the fall.

Take the opportunity to catch up on the presentations you have missed. Also, to revisit some of the innovation programs on 2SGBTQ+ in Ontario and the globe. The recording includes the opening remarks by the Director of GMSH to presentations on community discussions on HIV self-testing, PrEP, HIV testing, epidemiology, queer men’s health, mental health, sexual health, HIV activism, 2SGBMSM health policy, trans health, Black queer resilience, queerness & the arts, mindful practice, COVID & PLHIV, and COVID & LGBTQ communities.

Session recordings are now available so head over to YouTube and get caught up.

 Watch now


Please click here to read Speaker Biographies 

WEEK 1: October 18 - 22, 2021

Date: Monday, October 18, 2021

Time: 10:30 to 12:00 

Title: sâkihito-maskihkiy: Love Medicine

DescriptionJack Saddleback bares raw stories with humourous musings to uplift spaces for identities like his, a Cree Two Spirit Transgender Gay man. Weaving experiences of personal resilience, community compassion, and societal shifts in his keynote, Jack inspires the self-love, community connection, and ancetoral acceptance we all deserve, the sâkihito-maskihkiy: Love Medicine we carry.

Speakers: Jack Saddleback


Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Time: 10:30 to 12:00 

Title: Research perspectives of HIV self-testing

Description: Researchers from across Canada discuss the implementation of HIV self-testing. The presenters will discuss the work and outcomes of I'm Ready, Get a Kit, and research data from HIV self-testing. Researchers will present data on the social implications of HIV self-testing, such as homo/bi/transphobia on HIV self-testing, the role of stigma in HIV testing and health and social cost, and clinical practice. 

SpeakersRick Galli, Dr. Patrick O’ByrneChris Draenos


Date: Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 2:00

Title: Community discussions on HIV self-testing implementation 

DescriptionHIV self-testing was initiated in Canada in 2021. Community leaders from HIV sectors discuss the pros and cons of HIV self-testing as the response to HIV self-testing varies across different communities at risk. The panelists present insightful perspectives from the front-line. The experiences and knowledge gained from the front-line are crucial to implementing and advocating HIV-self testing for diverse GBMSM communities.  

SpeakersAlexandra Musten, Adrian BettsRandy Davis, Robin Robinson, Shiva Archarya


Date: Friday, October 22, 2021

Time: 11:00 to 12:00 

Title: Introducing HQ - Toronto's home for queer men's health 

DescriptionHQ is a new health centre for queer men's health in Toronto. HQ opens in fall 2021. Many years of work and advocacy have gone into the buildup of HQ. The panelists speak on the background evidence on the need for HQ in Toronto. HQ will offer innovations in HIV and STBBI testing, various clinical services, mental health, substance use interventions, and research, pathways to care and development, and service delivery for social health for 2SGBTQ+ people visiting the centre. AIDS Service Organization staff will be working out of HQ to serve the diversity of Toronto 2SGBTQ communities, including newcomers and queer people on the margins.

SpeakersDr. Tim Guimond, Praney Anand, Barry Adams, Dr. Kevin Woodward, Osmel Maynes


Date: Friday, October 22, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 3:00

Title: Introduction to epidemiology & an update of the epidemiology of HIV among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in Ontario

DescriptionThe presentation will begin with an introduction to epidemiology, with specific attention to the metrics and methods used to monitor the HIV epidemic among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) in Ontario. Following this, an update of the epidemiology of HIV among GBMSM in Ontario will be presented with data up to 2019, including information regarding HIV testing, diagnoses, and prevalence. 

SpeakersAbigail Kroch, Sean Colyer 


WEEK 2: October 25 - 29, 2021

Date: Monday, October 25, 2021

Time: 11:00 to 12:00

Title: Doctors are people too. Community conversation on queerness in healthcare.

Description: Gay men and queer people will often not seek out healthcare or delay seeking out healthcare due to experiences of discrimination and expected stigma related to their sexual orientation, sexual interests or behaviours, gender expression and other aspects of identity. During this lively discussion, we’ll hear from two physicians about the current standards of sexual health care for 2GBTQ+ people and their approaches to affirming and culturally appropriate care. We’ll also answer some of the more unexpected (or burning) questions that come up for queer men as we navigate sex. 

Speakers: Dr. Jordan Goodridge, and Dr. Jon (@thatgaydoctor)


Date: Monday, October 25, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 2:30

Title: gbMSM Policy in Canada

Description: Policies affect and impact various intersections of GBMSM communities in Canada. The experts present four key policy issues that affect GBMSM. The four policy areas discussed are queer identity and health equity, HIV and criminalization, the implications of Anti-Black homophobia/transphobia on health policy, and overdose and drug criminalization. Be part of an engaging and enriching experience of critical perspectives and a deeper dive into the issues.

SpeakersRyan Peck, Cameron McKenzie, Dr. Omisoore Dryden, Nick Boyce 


Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Time: 10:30 to 12:00

Title: Plenary: Queer Health into 2022 and beyond: 10 steps towards smart activism, impactful health promotion, and community care

DescriptionMarc Thompson and Will Nutland have 60 years of combined experience in health promotion. Their paths first collided in 1996, and they have since collaborated on national, regional and international programs, co-founding UK based PrEPster and the non-profit organisation The Love Tank. In this session they take us through 10 steps to building and fostering activism and health promotion, drawing on their years of practice. The session focuses on how we build community care to ensure our health and well-being as we foster change in our communities. 

Speakers: Dr. Will Nutland, Marc Thompson 


Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 2:00

Title: Research Updates on PrEP Implementation in Ontario

DescriptionIn Ontario, various clinicians have initiated steps and processes to increase uptake of PrEP across GBMSM populations at risk of HIV infection. We hear from two research scientists and a pharmacist on their leading work in implementing PrEP. 

SpeakersDr. Kevin Woodward, Dr. Darrell Tan, Andrew Schnobe 


Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Time: 2:00 to 3:00

Title: Community Updates on PrEP Implementation

DescriptionPrEP is an anti-HIV drug approved to prevent HIV infection. Community leaders and front-line staff play a key role in building safe spaces for GBMSM to talk about sexual practices and access to PrEP. The front-line community leaders share their knowledge and skills in implementing PrEP as a response to community mobilization to reduce HIV infections. The panelists present knowledge exchange for other front-line staff in discussing PrEP with the GBMSM communities. 

SpeakersAhmed Muslimani, Greg Owens, Darryl Dyball  


Date: Friday, October 29, 2021

Time: 10:30 to 12:00

Title: Navigating Towards the 2nd 95

DescriptionThe session will explore how we can bring Canada closer the to 2nd 95 UNAIDS target. We will have the opportunity to share and discuss examples of good practices for gbMSMs and develop action plans to maximize efforts towards effective holistic linkages to care. 

Speakers: Holly Gauvin, Alex Ma, Andre Ceranto, Sean Hosein


Date: Friday, October 29, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 2:00

Title: Reflections of 40 years of HIV treatment, advocacy and activism

DescriptionIn this session, we explore the 40 years since HIV was discovered, access to HIV treatment, and the role of HIV activism. In the 40 years, the HIV epidemic has substantially infected and affected GBMSM communities. The history of HIV treatment has evolved from monotherapy, dual therapy to triple combinations of antiretrovirals to the current one pill a day. Most of the evolution has come to be with HIV activism, and advocacy from the early 80's to current. We witness the power of activism for change from treatment advocates and lived experience of activists. This session will be instrumental to build KTE for many audience members on the evolution of HIV treatment over the 40 years. 

SpeakersJoël Xavier, Tim McCaskell  


Date: Friday, October 29, 2021

Time: 2:00 to 3:00

Title: Next frontier of HIV activism

DescriptionActivism invigorates us, gives power to a movement, mobilizes us for hope for change! In this session, we hear from three activists on their motivations as leaders, advocates, and activists against stigma, discrimination, HIV sero-status, access to antiretrovirals, and human rights on sexual and gender minorities. They will speak on topics close to their heart and passion for change as catalysts and role models in our communities. 

Speakers: Jermane, Alphonso King Jr., David Soomarie


WEEK 3: November 1-5, 2021

Date: Monday, November 1, 2021

Time: 11:00 to 12:30

Title: TIP of the iceberg: findings from the Trans Interweaving Project

Description: In 2020 the GMSH initiated a trans-led project. The Trans Interweaving Project or TIP, as we call it, put the GMSH on a path to understand what meaningful engagement, inclusion, and integration of trans and non-binary people in our work might look like. Through engagement with trans people with a breadth of lived experiences, alliance members, and leadership in the HIV sector, we find ourselves with rich and critical information to action in our work. Join project lead Devon MacFarlane and other members of the team for a deep dive into TIP findings. These recommendations have exciting implications for the GMSH, our work as an alliance, and the HIV response broadly. Some are already being activated, while others require further collaboration. You don’t want to miss this chance to hear how trans and non-binary people, in their words, describe the connection to our sector and vision for the future.

SpeakersDevon McFarlane, Dane Griffiths


Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Time: 10:30 to 12:00

Title: Plenary: Black Queer Resilience post-HIV

Description: Three scholars present a  lively presentation and critical discussions on Anti-Black racism, structural violence, HIV, resilience and mental health. We will hear a perspective of community healing: the impact of Anti-Black racism. PrEP  engagement and implementation  strategies for black same-gender-loving men (SGL). Audience members will have an opportunity to interact  and discuss important issues that will benefit their work in providing services to Black SGL.

SpeakersDr. LaRon Nelson, Dr. Roberta Timothy, Dr. Leo Wilton  


Date: Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 2:30

Title: FACING Home: A Konversation on Queerness and the Arts

DescriptionThere is no doubt we are still dealing with the impact of violence, erasure and marginalization on Queer persons across the world. Inspired by the research and showing of FACING Home: Love and Redemption, the discussion with the choreographer about the work, sexual health, research and wellness and a creative exploration with conference participants will follow. 

SpeakersKevin A. Ormsby 


Date: Friday, November 5, 2021

Time: 11:00 to 12:00

Title: COVID Immunity in People Living with HIV

DescriptionThe presentation will discuss how people living with HIV develop immunity to natural infection and COVID vaccine. We will examine several research studies to better understand the intersection between COVID and HIV. 

SpeakersDr. Curtis Cooper, Dr. Ann Burchell 


Date: Friday, November 5, 2021

Time: 1:15 to 2:15

Title: Mental Health: Same Labels, Different Determinants

DescriptionWe often reduce mental health to diagnostic labels, wellness to the absence of symptoms, and queer men's health to prevalence rates. If we take an exploratory approach to mental health and wellness we can begin to unravel some of the specific determinants of mental health concerns that affect GBTQ2S guys. As a racialized queer psychotherapist, Rahim Thawer will seek to examine 11 unique determinants that queer men come up against that impact their wellbeing. These will include, but are not limited to, internalized shame, body image, substance use, ageing, and the landscape of connection seeking. 

SpeakersRahim Thawer 


WEEK 4: November 8-12, 2021

Date: Monday, November 8, 2021

Time: 11:00 to 12:00

Title: Building resilience through the practice of mindfulness

DescriptionOur ability to cultivate resilience in times of adversity is influenced by the ability to bounce back from stressful states into care. This session will explore the role of mindfulness in preventing stress reactivity, cultivating a skillful response to life changes and providing a lifelong path to mind/body health. 

SpeakersMoustafa Abdelrahman  


Date: Monday, November 8, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 2:30

Title: 2Spirit & Indigi-Queer Identities, Histories and Experiences: Focus on Health and Wellbeing

DescriptionThis interactive conversation will discuss what folks know and don't know about 2Spirit/Indigi-queer experiences about the beauty and barriers of navigating healthcare systems within intersectional identities. We will explore and learn of the holistic model of health and well-being for 2Spirit/Indigi-queer people. Participants will also share what is needed to meet certain capacity needs when caring for 2Spirit/Indigi-Queer folks and share their practices of providing active-allyship for 2Spirit and Indigi-queer community members. 

SpeakersOzhawa Anung Kwe Yellow Star Woman  


Date: November 10, 2021

Time: 10:30 to 12:00

Title: Left Out: LGBTQ communities, queer sex and the COVID-19 pandemic

Description: Dr. Andrew Spieldenner, Executive Director of MPact, will discuss the LGBTQ communities globally in the COVID-19 pandemic. The LGBTQ community has already borne a disproportionate burden in the HIV epidemic. COVID-19 made us more vulnerable economically, socially and politically. As countries put forth plans to emerge from the pandemic, Dr. Spieldenner questions if the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ community be addressed. Queer sex remains silenced, criminalized and ignored. Dr. Spieldenner will present some possibilities for queer communities, and ask our allies for support.

Speakers: Andrew Spieldenner