Milestones at Community Based Research Centre Society
In 1998 a group of gay men working in HIV in Vancouver began meeting on a regular basis at the dinner table of each other’s homes. They were concerned about gay men’s health research and HIV prevention in Vancouver. With the attention and resources on a new generation of life saving drugs for people living with HIV/AIDS, the few resources that existed for HIV prevention had begun to disappear. Gay men’s HIV prevention programs lacked direction. No local research on gay men existed to assist with programming ideas. No one was monitoring trends in the culture and population. No systems were in place in BC to alert health care providers of emerging concerns in the gay population. How could we improve the situation?
In June 1999, Community-Based Research Centre Society was incorporated provincially by the founding board members – Paul Perchal, Andrew Johnson, Rick Marchand, Terry Trussler and Bill Coleman. The idea was to promote and do more local research. To make the research participatory and action oriented. From this grew the original vision of CBRC: Communities Creating Knowledge. Community based research techniques used to empower communities to engage in understanding their health and social issues and solutions related to HIV prevention and sexual health.
Research Ethics Board: Chaired by Russel Ogden, this community-based REB follows the principles of ethical conduct in research outlined in the Canadian Tri-Council Policy Statement on ethical conduct for research involving humans. The CBRC REB has provided much needed access to ethical review to researchers who are not connected to a university or hospital.
AIDS Impact Conference Satellite: Communities Creating Knowledge: the Community Based Research Centre organized an international meeting in Ottawa, Canada of HIV related groups using community based research (CBR) in their work. At that time, the territory of community based research was filled with tensions between academic and community perspectives on research approaches, and the field needed some practical guidance. An international consensus statement on community based research (CBR) was produced from the meeting.
Gay Health Vancouver: The first CBRC survey was conducted in the summer of 2000. We collected survey data from local venues and through an Xtra West centrespread: 620 men answered the survey. The study was funded by Health Canada and collaborated with Toronto and Montreal to look at gay men’s health in the three largest Canadian cities.
Durban 2000 International AIDS Conference: CBRC delivers an oral presentation on the barriers community researchers experience in trying to access to ethical review, and recommendations for change.
Gay Men Building Local Knowledge: CBR in HIV prevention & health promotion. The CBRC publishes recommendations on the practice of building research capacity: The CBRC Website was launched. We used interactive software to enable site users to post their own community-based research studies. Support for the website came from health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).
HIV Infections Rising Roundtables 2001: CBRC organized a series of HIV roundtables to hear from public health, researchers and community educators on why HIV infections were rising in gay men.
Rapid Assessment 2001: Funded by the BC Centre for Disease Control, Rick Marchand at CBRC undertook a provincial rapid assessment of the status of HIV and gay men in BC.
Sex Now 2002: Based on the Roundtables and Rapid Assessment, CBRC received a grant to develop a community based periodic survey. This launched the Sex Now survey. Dr. Terry Trussler is the Principal Investigator on the survey project. Support for the survey research over the years has come from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, BC Centre for Disease Control and the Vancouver Foundation. And many volunteer hours.
The CBRC obtains charitable tax status, and CBRC’s first office opens at West First Ave. and Fir Ave. in Vancouver.
Evaluation: Since 2004, CBRC has evaluated three national, two local HIV prevention campaigns, and a HIV prevention & support program targeting gay men: Assumptions (How do you know what you know?); Gay Men Play Safe; Do you have what it takes?; WhatRUwaiting4?; Do the Math Prevention Case Management Program.
BC Gay Men’s Health Summit: With the support of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, the CBRC organized the first BC Gay Men’s Health Summit in December 2005. CBRC has organized a Summit every year since.
Totally Outright: Based on Sex Now data from 2002 and 2004, CBRC obtained funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada to develop a HIV prevention program for young gay men ages 18-26. CBRC organized a youth team to write the participant guide and create the course. Olivier Ferlatte and Michael Harris wrote: Totally Outright - a sexual health leaders guide. Michael Kwag wrote: Totally Outright for Facilitators. The course was first run in 2005 and has been run attually since 2007. The Health Initiative for Men is delivering the program in Vancouver and the AIDS Committee of Toronto puts on Totally Outright in Toronto.
Do it again: The CBRC publishes the "Street Report" of the 2004 Sex Now survey, describing the main findings of our probe into increasing HIV infections among gay men in BC. Rick Marchand and Terry Trussler of the CBRC are published in: Reflections on Adult Education Practice in HIV.
Numbers Rising: Challenges for Gay Men's Health: The CBRC publication is based on the results of the 2004 Sex Now Survey. CBRC produces its first informational pamphlet for fundraising efforts: Gay Men’s Health is our Agenda.
ManCount Sizes up the Gaps: The CBRC worked in collaboration with BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Health Initiative for Men to conduct an HIV surveillance study of gay men where both blood samples and survey data were collected. CBRC took the lead in writing the community report on the study.
AccolAIDS: The CBRC is recognized with an award that honours the achievements of organizations responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in British Columbia.
Culture, Health & Technology: Shaping the Future of Gay Men’s Lives: A study produced with funding from the Vancouver Foundation; research efforts were focused on young gay men, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The CBRC works with Rob Gair to produce an awareness campaign on hepatitis C (HCV) and gay men.
Summit 2010: Local media covered the 2010 Gay Men's Health Summit.
Sex Now survey: In 2010 CBRC undertook a feasibility study to see if a national sample of gay men could be solicited online. 7910 answered the survey from every province and territory. Justin Go did the online outreach.
Investigaytors: The CBRC presents the fifth Totally Outright program, and creates the Investigaytors, a training program to engage young gay men in hands-on research and capacity building. Acting on the needs of the community, and as a follow-up oportunity for graduates of the Totally Outright program, participants have the opportunity to learn community based qualitative and quantitative research involving gay men. The project is meant to strengthen the capacity of younger gay men to use their expertise with peers, to pursue advanced work in gay men’s health, and to contribute significantly to knowledge development. The Investigaytors will have a key role in creating and distributing the national Sex Now Survey 2011, and begin analyzing the survey for their first publication: Under the Lens of the Investigaytors: Sex Now Survey 2011. The survey would focus on the social determinants of health.
What are you waiting for?: The CBRC publishes What are you waiting for?, an evaluation of a health communication campaign promoting the uptake of new HIV testing technologies among gay men. It also publishes the 2010 Survey Report.
Stepping Up: The Future of Young Gay Men's Health: With funding from the Shooting Stars Foundation, the 8th CBRC Summit hosted a third day, focused strictly on youth. The Investigaytors conducted research on different aspects of the Sex Now 2011 Survey and made their first Summit presentation. The 8th Summit hosted it's largest attendance with over 170 individuals.The CBRC website is also relaunched with a greater emphasis on knowledge transfer and to become a leading souce for information on gay men's health.
Beyond Behaviours: The CBRC hosted a first post-CAHR conference called "Beyond Behaviours" to bring together gay health leaders across Canada to think beyond HIV and beyond behaviours. In 2013 the CBRC had an international presence, attending and presenting at the 2nd International HIV Social Sciences and Humanities Conference in Paris, France.
The 9th Summit focused on Life Course and Gay Men's Health with many calling it the "best Summit yet." The youth Summit returned for a second year with the theme: "Stepping Out."
Under the Lens of the Investigaytors: The Investigaytors first publication was based on their 2012 research. The publication was distributed nationally. Other 2013 CBRC publications include: Who did Sex Now? and Current Knowledge of Young Gay Men: Review of Literature on Young Gay Men's Health, by David Le.
Gays of Our Lives: The Investigaytors new publication is launched. The result of a qualitative phase of training in social research, its focus on developing rich narratives of the lived experience of the men behind the Sex Now Survey.
Sex Now Across Canada: With support from the Vancouver Foundation and the Province of British Columbia, the CBRC publishes Sex Now Across Canada: Highlights from the Sex Now Survey by Province.
Stories and Stigma: With the support of a City of Vancouver Community Arts Grant, the CBRC produced Stories and Stigma, a collection of personal essays highlighing individual experiences of stigma. It was launched at the 2015 Summit.
At the Interface: The CBRC also produced At the Interface, written by Sarah Chown: a collection of theoretical perspectives on the complexity of issues affecting the health and wellbeing of gay men.
New CBRC publications include: Preventing Suicide Among Gay and Bisexual Men: New Research and Perspectives, by Travis Salway Hottes, Olivier Ferlatte, and Joshun Dulai. Also, Resist Stigma: How Do We Get There? A Scoping Review, by Maggie MacAulay and Skyler Wang; translated in French as: Resister a la stigmatisation: Comment Faire? Un rapport d'orientation. Also The Researchers' Own Stories: personal essays about the life influences of gay community-based researchers.
Gay Generations: Why our history matters
The CBRC publishes the findings of the Sex Now 2015 survey, Gay Generations: Life Course and Gay Men's Health, as well as the French translation, Générations gaies : Parcours de vie et santé des hommmes gais. Our eighth periodic survey (third national) reflects the life experiences of 8000 Canadian men of all ages and backgrounds.