Young Men and Sexually Transmitted Infections

(March 2010 – March 2011; CIHR, Gender and Health)

Principal Investigator(s): Jean Shoveller
Co-Investigator(s): Blye Frank; Gina Ogilvie; John Oliffe

In Canada, STI rates are high and rising, especially amongst young men. Meanwhile, the needs of young men regarding STI testing services are poorly understood, as are the socio-cultural and structural factors that influence young men’s sexual health-seeking behaviours. New interventions that help improve young men’s participation in STI testing also may, over time, enhance their engagement in other forms of sexual health promotion and ultimately may help to deconstruct gendered stereotypes about sexual health.

The one-year study actively engaged youth and service providers to (1) investigate the perceived effects of gendered stereotypes on young men’s use of STI testing and on service providers’ delivery of STI testing services; (2) examine the perceived needs of vulnerable subgroups of young men regarding STI testing; and (3) use the new information gathered through the study to facilitate the development of recommendations for tailoring and targeting new STI testing strategies for young men. The study was conducted in Greater Vancouver. We investigated the perceived effects of gendered stereotypes on young men’s (including vulnerable subgroups) use of STI testing and on service providers’ delivery of STI testing services. The new information gathered during the first six months of our study was used to facilitate the engagement of young men (ages 15-24), service providers (e.g., nurses; doctors; counsellors) and decision-makers (e.g., policy makers; clinic administrators; program planners with Vancouver Coastal Health and/or OPTions for Sexual Health) in a 1-day Participatory Planning Summit.

Total: $71,102