The Sex Now Survey of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (GBM) began in 2002 and has become the largest survey of its kind in Canada. As the focus for the 2018 Sex Now Survey, our project will support the development of individual behaviour-based risk assessment tool by identifying a sub-group of GBM with negligible risk for HIV and Hepatitis C virus (HCV). We will also assess the acceptability and impact of alternative deferral and screening policies among GBM. To accomplish this, we will run a national bio-behavioural cross-sectional study that will recruit 10,000 GBM in-person and online. Of these, 6000 in-person participants recruited from Pride festival and community settings in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, and Halifax will provide anonymous dried blood spots for HIV and HCV testing. These data will allow us to: 1) identify behavioural predictors of undiagnosed blood-borne infections in order to identify a group of low-risk GBM to be considered for blood donation; 2) evaluate acceptability of alternative donor deferral policies and screening procedures; 3) determine the number of new potential GBM blood donors; and 4) produce risk parameters to update mathematical models of the blood supply risk/safety.
MSM Research Grant Program