SOCIO-CULTURAL CONTEXTS AND YOUNG MEN’S SEXUAL LIVES (CONTEXT) STUDY:
THE CONTEXT STUDY
Sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs) rates continue to increase, especially among sub-groups of young men. New STBBI interventions are being designed and launched regularly; however, little data exists on how features of socio-cultural contexts, including shifting patterns, contexts and motivations of substance use, impact young men’s uptake of STBBI interventions. The ‘Context Study’ examines the socio-cultural contexts that affect young men’s sexual decision-making, including if and how they uptake STBBI interventions.
For example, for today’s young men, the availability of effective treatment for HIV infection is a potential ‘game changer’ and the socio-cultural contexts in which they launch their sexual lives are profoundly different from those experienced by previous generations, including shifting substance use landscapes (e.g., legalization of cannabis, online-mediated markets and information sources). Today’s young men are exposed to evolving gender stereotypes, a proliferation of online dating or ‘hook-up’ platforms, and other factors that shape their sexual lives. Providing more information to young men might help them engage in risk-reduction practices and biotechnical interventions (e.g., antiretroviral-based prevention strategies, such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) may help reduce risk, but successful and sustainable interventions need to account for evolving implementation contexts. Thus, the study is timely and important because it can help intervention planners understand the sociocultural contexts and their influence on STBBI-related risks experienced by today’s young men.
The aims of this study are to:
- Analyze the descriptions of young men regarding the connections between their socio-cultural contexts, substance use patterns, their sexual lives and STBBI-related risks.
- Examine young men’s evolving perceptions of sex, gender and gendered stereotypes and the influence those conceptions have on their experiences with STBBI and substance use interventions.
- Depict the insights of key stakeholders, including policy makers and service providers, regarding the influence of contemporary socio-cultural contexts on evolving STBBI and substance use interventions for young men.
- Inform the implementation and scaling up of the three identified STBBI interventions and the ways they adapt to young men’s contemporary socio-cultural contexts.
- Health Initiative for Men (HiM)
- BC Centre for Disease Control’s GetCheckedOnline
- YouthCO HIV and Hepatitis C Society
- BC Ministry of Health’s Provincial Strategy for STI Prevention, Testing and Treatment
- Canadian Institutes for Health Research