The Role of HIV Positive Gay & Bisexual men in contributing to Holistic Wellness: Preventing Ill Health, Protecting and Promoting Quality of Life.

Context

In early 2016, the Poz Prevention Working Group (PPWG) of the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance (GMSH) identified the opportunity and need to gather information to assist them in looking forward. Increasingly, organizations are required to more clearly articulate what their specific contribution is to achieving the goals of the Ontario HIV strategy and this review is intended to inform both the future work of the PPWG as well as the GMSH strategic plan implementation. The PPWG began in 2004 and in 2008 laid out a holistic framework for Poz Prevention which viewed the overall health of the person living with HIV as the primary goal recognizing that the health of a PHA impacts the health of other individuals and their communities. This was a significantly different philosophical approach than that of many jurisdictions which viewed “POZ Prevention” as interventions focused not on the health of the PHA, but on changing their behaviour(s) as the vectors of transmission. There have been many changes since which impact HIV prevention and care as well as the overall health of gay men. New conversations about the broad, holistic health and wellness of gay men are taking place in Ontario and have already led to changes in care and support services, particularly in Ottawa and Toronto and increasingly across the province. Conversations with members of the GMSH PPWG, a review of research literature, a stakeholder survey and discussions with key stakeholders were undertaken to explore these questions of Poz Prevention in today’s context.

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