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Mission and Principles

About the GMSH

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The Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance is a network of AIDS service organizations, whose mission is to support its members in building their own capacity, and the capacity among other service providers in their communities, to offer sexual health, HIV, and other services that meet the needs of cis- and trans-gender gay, bisexual, queer, two spirit and other men who have sex with men in Ontario.


We envision for gay, bisexual, queer, two-spirit and other men who have sex with men in Ontario an environment free of new HIV transmissions, supportive of those infected and affected by HIV and affirming of full sexual and emotional lives untainted by stigma, violence and hate.

Our Principles (and Values) in the work

We envision for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Ontario, an environment free of new HIV transmissions, supportive of those infected and affected by HIV, and affirming of full sexual and emotional lives untainted by violence, stigma, discrimination and hate.

The following principles will guide the work of the GMSH at all its meetings: 

  1. Common Purpose - Those of us working in HIV prevention and sexual health with gay, bisexual and other MSM have a common purpose - to reduce the transmission of HIV between gay, bisexual and other MSM and their sexual and substance using partners and strengthen the overall sexual health of gay and other MSM. We will strive to participate in GMSH activities with this common purpose in mind.
  2. Health and Sexuality - Effective HIV prevention work is delivered within the context of a broader sexual health framework. Prevention of HIV transmission requires an approach that addresses the range of social determinants of health which impact on sexual behavior and risk for HIV. This includes other sexually transmitted infections, as well as mental, physical, social and economic health.
  3. Inclusion/Diversity - The men in our communities are from diverse backgrounds and identities. HIV prevention initiatives should strive to be inclusive of a diversity of gay, bisexual and other MSM and should incorporate the experiences of both HIV-positive and HIV-negative men. We affirm the need to account for this diversity in all aspects of our work.
  4. Anti-Oppression Framework - The advisory group affirms the right of everyone to live and work in an environment free of demeaning comments and actions based on ableism, ageism, homophobia, racism or sexism. We believe that the abuse of power is at the root of all oppression and that oppression is an attack on our individual and collective humanity. We are committed to an active anti-oppression process of identifying and eliminating oppression by changing systems, organizational structures, policies, practices, attitudes and individual behaviour and by encouraging the equitable use of power.
  5. Respect - We recognize the value of showing one another respect throughout this process. By respect we mean:
    • We acknowledge that there are power differentials in the GMSH
    • We acknowledge that no one’s knowledge is complete and that everyone has something to contribute and something to learn
    • We will strive to listen and understand the views of others
    • We will remain open to compromise
    • We will remain open to respectful challenge from other group members
    • We will commit to respectfully challenging other group members when we feel it is necessary and appropriate
    • We will strive to be concrete and specific
    • We will strive to create a safe working environment for open and honest dialogue
    • We will strive to be flexible and adaptable in our work
    • We will strive to appreciate the variety of approaches to HIV/AIDS work in communities and to honor and respect the diversity of these approaches
  1. Addressing Social and Systemic Impacts - It is within the mandate of the GMSH to address social and/or systemic barriers to effective HIV prevention and full sexual health for gay and other MSM.


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