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Should We Return to “Normal”? Examining Barriers, Disruptions, and Innovations to STBBI Testing for Gay, Bisexual, and Other Men Who Have Sex with Men in Ontario

Research theme(s)
Internet Based Testing; Digital Health

Mackenzie Stewart, Abdi Hassan, Ezra Blaque, Heeho Ryu, Joshun Dulai, Ryan Lisk. 

Summit 2021 (virtual), Oct 27-29, 2021.

 

Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (GBMSM) disproportionately face barriers navigating health care services, including testing for sexually transmitted and bloodborne infections (STBBI). Health care disruptions and testing site closures during the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated disparities in access to STBBI testing for GBMSM in Ontario. Using quantitative data from the 2019 Sex Now survey, and qualitative data from interviews with GBMSM who accessed testing services, and with STBBI testing providers in Ontario, we will discuss barriers to STBBI testing experienced by GBMSM before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we will address testing innovations developed during the COVID-19 pandemic that helped alleviate barriers to testing for GBMSM.