This week employees, volunteers, stakeholders and community members involved in HIV work across the Prairies will gather in Calgary to discuss the current state of gay men’s sexual health.
The Calgary event is one of three regional conferences organized by CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange) this month. Organizers will discuss efforts to broaden the focus of gay men’s health in Canada beyond HIV prevention to include a full-body wellness approach.
“How do we reconfigure gay men’s health beyond HIV prevention?” asks Ed Jackson, CATIE’s director of program development. “HIV prevention has occupied gay men’s health for the last 25 years. Men have fuller lives beyond HIV. We need to think different — how do we integrate HIV into a broader framework of health.”
Attendees will be encouraged to share what services and resources are being offered in their area and bring up ideas about what could and should be happening.
The first regional conference was held in Truro, NS last week, and the third will be held in Richmond, BC at the end of October.
Regional conversations are part of a bigger goal says Jackson, to start “a national dialogue around gay men’s health and wellness, and to make at least a strategic link with LGBT health movements.”
“Collectively we can come up with new approaches and figure out how to re-engage in the work [of gay men’s health],” he says.
To learn more about CATIE’s regional conferences, visit CATIE.ca.