Summary of BC Research Projects

Independent of the research work we do at PAN, CBR Quarterly participants are involved in many and diverse research projects and studies. Here is a summary list of projects of CBR meeting participants with key contact information for your information. 

Study Name: Positive Living, Positive Homes

Principal Investigator(s) and Research Team: Jennifer Evin Jones, Catherine Worthington

Study Timeline: August 2013 – August 2016

Study Description:

Positive Living, Positive Homes (PLPH) is a community-based research project in British Columbia born out of the community’s identification of housing as a critical health determinant for people living with, or at risk of, HIV and AIDS. The study will use a case-study approach to:

  1.  Investigate PHAs’ experiences of housing and health over time, exploring the personal, social and structural factors that influence health and wellbeing;
  2. Examine how housing and HIV programs, services and policies have influenced access to housing and interacted with housing experiences to influence health and wellbeing;
  3. Document the successes and challenges of various housing-related policies, and identify best practices for HIV and housing programs, services and policies so they may better meet the needs of PHAs;
  4. Mobilize research findings on HIV and housing in BC into actionable policy recommendations in order to improve ASO’s and other community-based organizations’ ability to deliver programs and services.

Starting in 2014, the study will interview 125 people living with HIV at two time points as well as 60 service providers, service users and decision-makers from three communities in BC – Vancouver, Kamloops and Prince George – each of which face different housing needs and pressures. Given the project’s community-grounded research objectives, it is hoped and anticipated that this study will impact housing programs and policies in BC, promoting greater access to suitable, affordable and culturally appropriate housing services.

Contact Info:

Project Coordinator
Pacific AIDS Network
[email protected]


Study Name: Gay Poz Sex Study

Principal Investigator(s) and Research Team: Dr. Trevor Hart, Dr. Barry Adam,Dr. Malcolm Steinberg

Study Timeline: Sept 2012 – Sept 2015

Study Description:

Gay Poz Sex (GPS) is a sexual health program for gay and bisexual men who are HIV-positive.

GPS is facilitated by gay, poz men, and we take a gay-positive, sex-positive approach to understanding our sexual health and getting good sex.

Like GPS in a car helps you find your way when traveling, our GPS program helps gay, bisexual, poz men find their own way when seeking hot and healthy sex.

In taking a look at our current sexual behaviour, we can see:

  •     what’s good about it
  •     what’s not so good
  •     what each of us would like our sex life to look like

Sex is about more than where you put your penis:

  • GPS takes a holistic approach to sex – how the physical, emotional, and social aspects of our lives impact our sex and sexual health.
  • For over 4 years, the GPS program has helped gay, bisexual, poz men clarify what they want from sex and then work toward that goal.
  • Almost all of the guys who’ve done GPS say they wish the program was longer – a testament to how important it is to have a safe space for gay, bisexual, poz guys to talk openly and meaningfully about sex

Contact Info:

Michael & Jonathan
Peer Facilitator
Positive Living BC
[email protected]


Study Name: “The way I see it”

Principal Investigator(s) and Research Team: Principal Investigator: Robert Hogg

Principal Knowledge User: Rosa Jamal

Knowledge Users: Jennifer Jones; Sabine Silberberg; Kim Stacey

Co-investigators: Angela Cescon; Alexis Palmer; Surita Parashar; Victoria Smye

Study Timeline: May 2011 – April 2014

Study Description:

Vancouver, British Columbia has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in Canada and a growing housing crisis. The limited data available on the impact of housing instability on the health of people living with HIV in this setting has been generated without meaningful involvement of the community. In order to fill this gap, we launched a community-based research project aimed at developing an understanding of the housing-health nexus that is grounded in the experiences of people living with HIV.

Eight Community Researchers – people living with HIV who have experienced homelessness in Vancouver – were recruited and trained to co-facilitate this community based participatory action research project. The use of Photovoice ensured the meaningful engagement of the Community Researchers. Photovoice is a research method that assists people, often marginalized by social-structural inequity, to reflect on their capacities and needs, engage with policymakers and encourage social change.

The Community Researchers generated over 300 photographs and engaged in facilitated discussion to identify emergent themes. The Community Researchers described the detrimental impact of inadequate housing on their physical and mental health, and the resiliency promoted by healthy environments. The analysis culminated in the development of a multi-level ecological framework mapping the determinants and impacts of housing instability in this population, representing the first step towards building a comprehensive, community-informed definition of healthy housing as viewed through the eyes of people living with HIV.

The findings underscore the need to expand the focus of housing strategies to incorporate the broader political, economic and social context, and to meaningfully engage affected populations in developing policy and programming targeting housing instability.

Contact Info:

Surita Parashar
Project Coordinator
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
[email protected]


Study Name: At Home At Howe

Principal Investigator(s) and Research Team: Principal Applicant: Robert Hogg

Principal Knowledge User: Meaghan Thumath

Co-applicants: Angela Cescon, MJ Milloy, Julio Montaner, Jay Pai, Alexis Palmer, Surita Parashar, Lindsey Richardson, Kate Salters, Evan Wood, Cathy Worthington.

Collaborators: BC-CfE, McLaren Housing Society of BC, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, BC Housing, Street to Home.

Community Partners: Pacific AIDS Network, Positive Women’s Network, Terry Howard, Paul Kerston, Libby Davies, Hedy Fry, Lora Bellrose, Mel Hennan, Rob Lamoureux, Randy Moors, Valerie Nicholson, Dan Wilson.

Study Timeline: September 2014 – September 2016

Study Description:

In April 2013, McLaren Housing Society of BC opened the doors to a 12 story 110-unit housing complex , the largest HIV residential building in Canada. The units provide permanent housing to individuals and families who are either homeless or at-risk of homelessness and whose primary health issue is HIV/AIDS.

The overarching aim of this study is to monitor and evaluate the implementation of this supportive housing program and its impact on a cohort of people living with HIV at risk of homelessness.

Using a multi-method, community-based approach, the specific objectives of this research are to: (1) Determine the impact of a supportive housing intervention on quality of life, risk behaviours, health service utilization and HIV treatment outcomes in a cohort of people living with HIV at risk of homelessness; (2) Identify the specific processes and mechanisms of the intervention that impact quality of life and HIV treatment outcomes; and (3) Explore the narratives of PHA who recently transitioned from unstable to stable housing.

Contact Info:

Surita Parashar
Project Coordinator
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
[email protected]


Study Name: Life Course and Gay Men’s Health: Implications for Policy and Programs

Principal Investigator(s) and Research Team: Terry Trussler, CBRC

Jody Jollimore, HIM

Rick Marchand, CBRC

Travis Salway Hottes, BC CDC

David Le, CBRC

Olivier Ferlatte, CBRC

Study Timeline: Jan 2014 – Mar 2015

Study Description:

How is health affected by social inequities experienced over the life span of gay and bisexual men?

We will undertake a mixed methods study of Gay Generations – the impact of intergenerational experiences with prejudice, discrimination and social change — also the theme of a large sample survey launching in the summer of 2014. A young investigator team has been integrated into all phases of the research.

The goals of the project are: 1) to describe the relationship between social inequities experienced by young gay men and their long term health outcomes. 2) to develop youth capacities to conduct large scale repeat surveys. 3) to build health personnel capacities to discern gay generations with the aim of developing supportive practices.

This life course study will examine how historical events and geographic locations shape varied experiences among gay age cohorts that result in varied health issues and needs. The survey will be programmed for longitudinal research to track participant health outcomes in future years.

The idea has emerged through CBRC and HIM’s engagement with gay youth and HIV prevention. Prior research noted that young men of today experience greater social acceptance but also greater homophobic violence than previous generations (Ferlatte et al. 2013) The study will examine this paradox to learn how health outcomes may be affected.

The project will also engage those working and volunteering in gay men’s health province-wide in the BC Gay Men’s Health Summit and through other local Knowledge Exchange activities throughout BC.

Contact Info:

Terry Trussler
Community-Based Research Centre for Gay Men’s Health
[email protected]


Study Name: The Engage Study

Principal Investigator(s) and Research Team: Principle Investigators are Dr. Bob Hogg and Dr. David Moore.

Study Timeline: December 2013 – December 2015

Study Description:

The Engage Study is being done with people who have recently started HIV treatment for the first time in British Columbia. The overall aim of this study is to explore how socio-demographic, economic, behavioural and structural characteristics impact HAART uptake, retention and clinical outcomes. We are striving through this research to better understand how we can help people in their treatment decisions and how supports, in the clinical and community arenas, can be improved.

Participants in Engage complete a 1-hour study interview at baseline and a follow-up interview 6 months later, both with a trained peer interviewer. The interviews can be done in our office at St. Paul’s Hospital or over the phone using our toll-free number, 1-855-506-8615 .

Contact Info:

Sarah Kesselring
Research Coordinator
BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS
604-682-2344 x 63237
[email protected]


Study Name: Canadian HIV Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Cohort Study

Principal Investigator(s) and Research Team: Principal Investigators:

Dr. Angela Kaida

Dr. Robert S. Hogg

Dr. Mona Loutfy

Dr. Alexandra de Pokomandy

Please see our website ( for a complete list of co-investigators and collaborators.

Study Timeline: April 2011 – April 2016

Study Description:

CHIWOS is a community-based research project that is grounded in the principles of GIPA (Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS) and MIWA (Meaningful Involvement of Women Living with HIV/AIDS), prioritizing the leadership and experiences of women living with HIV. CHIWOS is further guided by Anti-Oppression, Intersectionality, Social Determinants of Health, and Social Justice Frameworks. CHIWOS brings together a national, multi-disciplinary team of researchers, service providers, policy-makers, advocates, and women living with HIV to improve lives and care for HIV-positive women in Canada. The overall study aims are to: (1) Assess the barriers and facilitators to use of women-centred HIV/AIDS services, and factors associated with service uptake among women living with HIV in Canada; and (2) Estimate the effect of women-centred HIV/AIDS services uptake on the sexual, reproductive, mental and women’s health outcomes of women living with HIV in Canada.

Contact Info:

Allison Carter
BC Research Coordinator
Simon Fraser University
604-682-2344, ext 62544
[email protected]