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Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00183

Online intervention as strategy to reach men who have sex with other men and who use drugs in a sexual context. Development of the MONBUZZ.ca project.

 Jorge Flores-Adanda1*,  Goyette Mathieu2 and Catherine Larose-Osterrath3
  • 1Institut universitaire sur les dépendances, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux, Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, Canada
  • 2Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
  • 3Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Men who have sex with men (MSM) use more psychoactive substances and a greater variety of them compared to their heterosexual peers. In this population, substance use is particularly characterized by polydrug use, binge and sexualized substance use. MSM who use substances do not recognize themselves in public health messages targeting substance users. In addition, they recognize their problematic substance use later than heterosexuals and, as a result, they use addiction services later in their addiction trajectories. When accessing addiction services, the links between drug use and sexual life are rarely considered. Because of this profile, online interventions are a promising way to reach this hard-to-reach population. Currently available online interventions targeting MSM address the topics of substance use and sexual life separately. To deal with this situation, our team wanted to develop an online intervention platform for MSM who use substances in a sexual context. Given that online addiction interventions do not address sex and that MSM drug use is highly related to sexual activity, we first explored the literature related to online interventions targeting MSM and HIV risk behaviours, as well as online interventions targeting general population in order to: 1) identify relevant (or personalized) intervention methods; 2) describe the approaches used; and 3) describe their effects. Second, we turned to the literature to develop the MONBUZZ.ca project in collaboration with community organizations. The results of the narrative review provided a critical portrait of online interventions for MSM and guided the development process of MONBUZZ.ca. We discuss issues of co-development of a research and brief intervention tool based on promising practices as well as challenges of its implementation and evaluation.

Keywords: Sexualized substance use, MSM (men who have sex with men), online interventions, outreach, community-based research

Received: 09 Sep 2018; Accepted: 13 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Yasser Khazaal, Département de Psychiatrie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Switzerland

Reviewed by:

Harrison Oakes, University of Waterloo, Canada
Francesco P. Busardò, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Simona Zaami, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy  

Copyright: © 2019 Flores-Adanda, Mathieu and Larose-Osterrath. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Jorge Flores-Adanda, Institut universitaire sur les dépendances, Centre intégré universitaire de santé et de services sociaux, Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, Montreal, Canada, jorge.flores-aranda.ccsmtl@ssss.gouv.qc.ca