David Brennan

David Brennan

OHTN Applied HIV Research Chair

David Brennan looks at the experiences of gay and bisexual men who are marginalized due to age, socio-economic status, ethnoracial identity or sexual orientation, and how their experiences shape both the health risks they take and the resiliency they exhibit. He has a specific interest in men’s use of technology to connect and the opportunities this creates for health promotion.

Research Findings

  • Findings of his Imagine Men’s Health Study about the relationship between body image, sexual health, and racialized stereotypes for gay and bisexual men of colour have shaped the recent ouragenda.ca health promotion campaign by the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance, as well as the Totally OUTright health promotion program.
  • David’s work on aging and HIV has demonstrated the support and resilience that can occur within the gay and bisexual community. His work showed that experiences of HIV stigma decline as men age, and that gay and bisexual men generally have better mental health and HIV stigma outcomes than other populations affected by HIV.

Current Projects

  • #iCruise – This CANFAR funded mixed method longitudinal study examines how young gay and bisexual men access online heath promotion and online sexual health outreach in Ontario and how access to health promotion and online outreach affects sexual risk.
  • 2SHAWLS (Two-Spirit HIV/AIDS Wellness and Longevity Study) – This project used sharing circles to gather information from Indigenous Two-Spirited men about the factors that help them live well with HIV. The Seven Truths of Resiliency shared by participants in this study are now being disseminated.
  • Cruising Counts – Surveys with over 1800 men recruited online are providing information about the online services men use and their experiences and preferences for online HIV prevention. Findings from the OHTN-funded study on how gay and bisexual men access online sexual health outreach have been used to develop new online outreach guidelines for Ontario’s HIV AIDS service organizations.
  • From Hospital to Community – This project, conducted with Casey House, looks at the post-discharge experiences of people transition back to the community after a time in hospital
  • The Gay Strength’s Study – Work with Trevor Hart to interview HIV negative men who have sex with men to explore the factors that protect men against risky sexual behaviour and promote their sexual health. This study may help shape future sexual health promotion programs.

Work Environment and Collaborations:

David Brennan is an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Toronto. David worked as a community-based HIV social worker for many years and is actively involved with community-based service providers such as the AIDS Committee of Toronto, the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, the Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS), and the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance, as well as Indigenous organizations through his work on the 2SHAWLS project. David works collaboratively with other OHTN research leaders in gay men’s health including Director of Prevention Research, Barry Adam, and Applied HIV Research Chair, Trevor Hart.

OHTN Support:

David Brennan holds an OHTN Applied HIV Research Chair focused on the use of emerging technology to promote wellness ($656,848; 2014-2019), and a recent knowledge translation to disseminate the findings of the CIHR-funded Two Shawl’s project ($19, 495; 2014).
First funded by OHTN in 2008.

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