Getting to know the community: Who are the black men who have sex with other men in Toronto?

Project Name:

Getting to know the community: Who are the black men who have sex with other men in Toronto?

Funding Dates:

2007 - 2012



Principal Investigators:

Clemon George, Winston Husbands


Canadian studies of sexual behaviour and determinants of HIV infection among homosexual men have included Black men who have sex with men (BMSM), but the results and service implications are indeterminate for 2 main reasons: 1) researchers have found it difficult to recruit large enough numbers of BMSM for studies that are designed for (mainstream) gay populations; 2) recruitment is normally done from places that may not be frequented by non gay-identified BMSM. This leaves us with an incomplete understanding of the risk behaviours and sexual relationships of BMSM. Further, HIV prevention activities that are designed for gay (white) men and target BMSM may not be well informed. This study will present a clearer picture of BMSM thereby allowing health promotion agencies to design targeted prevention/intervention activities for BMSM.

Purpose and Objectives:

The study seeks to: describe the risk behaviour of BMSM and variables associated with these behaviours; understand how experiences and everyday decision-making are associated with (un)protected sex; understand how BMSM interpret and assess the role of AIDS Service Organizations (ASO) in their communities. The objectives of this study of Black MSM (BMSM, i.e., African and Caribbean gay, bisexual and other MSM) are to: (1) characterize BMSM in terms of their socio-demographic characteristics, sexual relationships, sexual behaviours and related factors, (2) determine correlates of sexual risk behaviour, and examine differences among BMSM related to their sexual behaviours, (3) examine experiences and decision-making associated with (un)protected sex, and (4) understand how BMSM interpret current HIV prevention campaigns for gay and bisexual men, and the extent to which the campaign messages influence their sexual behaviours.


This study will use both survey and in-depth interviews. Surveys are appropriate to describe behaviours while in-depth interviews are suitable to understand behaviours


African and Caribbean identifying BMSM aged 18 years or older and living in or socializing in Toronto


Toronto, ON

Start and End Date:

2007 - 2012


Project Indicators and Outcomes:

Funding Sources: