About HIM

Health Initiative for Men (HIM) honours the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səlil̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, and the territories of many nations on the west coast of Turtle Island, on whose unceded and stolen land we live and work. As uninvited inhabitants, we acknowledge that this space is and always will be Indigenous land.

HIM is a nonprofit society that aims to strengthen the health and well-being in communities of self-identified GBQ men and gender diverse people in BC. We offer a full spectrum of health-based programming and services to meet the sexual, mental, physical and social health needs of communities of self-identified GBQ men and gender diverse people in BC. 

Our health centres in the Lower Mainland as well as our anonymous testing events in the BC Interior provide GBQ men and gender diverse people with HIV/STI prevention and treatment services. Additionally, our mental health programs provide our communities with access to counselling and support through peer counsellors who work with clients on matters relevant to their mental health such as loneliness, anxiety, coming out, racism, self-esteem/body image, aging, sex, substance use-related issues, and more.  

Physical and social health programs at HIM provide GBQ men and gender diverse people with opportunities to take a more holistic approach to health in an engaging setting that cultivates a sense of connection and builds community. 

Our History

Following decades of inequitable access to the healthcare system and years of discussion among gay men in Vancouver about the need for a stand-alone gay men’s health organization, Health Initiative for Men (HIM) was founded in the heart of Vancouver’s gay village in 2008 as a grassroots initiative. In 2009, HIM entered a formal contract with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to facilitate the delivery of health promotion services to gay men. In 2014, HIM entered a partnership with Fraser Health Authority to expand the reach of its health-based programming and services to Fraser region – ultimately establishing five health centres and numerous health-based programs in the Lower Mainland. In 2020, we expanded our reach beyond the Lower Mainland to the Northern, Island and Interior health regions.  

Since our establishment, HIM has matured from a small grassroots initiative to become cornerstone for the health and wellbeing of GBQ men and gender diverse people. HIM has also evolved its programming to be inclusive of  GBQ men and gender diverse people. Today, HIM remains at the forefront of GBQ men and gender diverse people health issues, collaborating on important research projects, offering primary and sexual health care and engaging with communities in a wide range of community health-based programming. Through the tireless work of our volunteers, we’re able to deliver wide-ranging programs for sexual, mental, physical and social health. 

We recognize that we operate on the traditional, ancestral, and stolen territories of Indigenous people across British Columbia. 

Our Vision

GBQ men and gender diverse people building healthy lives together.

Our Mission

Strengthening the health and well-being of GBQ men and gender diverse people. 

Our Values

  • We value gay men’s ability to make informed decisions.
  • We value the role of our communities. 
  • We value scientific research. (We value an evidence-based approach to our health.)
  • We value a non-judgmental, sex-positive and strengths-based philosophy.
  • We value a comprehensive approach to healthy living.
  • We value capacity building and collaboration.  


HIM Highlights


  • we undertook a comprehensive gender diversity audit which resulted in a comprehensive report containing over 50 recommendations designed to assist us to become more welcoming to gender diverse members of the communities we engage with. 
  • we responded to the unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19 by providing practical, queer-friendly health promotion and successfully pivoting much of our programming to the virtual space. 
  • we developed several new innovative, community-informed programs and resources designed to increase community capacity and provide resources to those unpacking the complexities of outness (e.g. Community OrganizersOutsideIN).


  • Expanded our presence into British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, northern and interior regions to engage queer men in their health, partnering with local organizations to improve overall health outcomes for the communities of GBQ men and gender diverse people.


  • Celebrated its ten-year anniversary with the first ever HIM Blue Ball; 
  • Increased access to sexual health testing through the launch of Express Testing at HIM on Davie Health Centre;
  • Significantly increased opportunities for mental health counselling through the introduction of the HIM Helps subsidized counselling program;
  • Developed a new, community-informed and responsive strategic plan that will help guide the organization in its work for the next five years.


  • Launched our GetPrEPed.ca campaign website and materials to raise awareness and increase access to PrEP for gbOMSM while championing community advocacy for governmental policy changes. 
  • Partnered with Public Safety Canada to launch Transitions, a personal empowerment program for men involved with sex work, providing a safe space to develop resources to reduce their reliance on sex work and/or transition out of the sex industry.
  • Expanded our HIM on Davie Health Centre from 700 to 1,600 square feet, significantly increasing capacity for testing and mental health supports.


  • Expanded our popular mental health resource, Take Time for Your Mind, to provide evidence-based articles, referrals to professional counselling, coaching or therapeutic groups in support of an integrated approach to health. 
  • Partnered with the Vancouver Queer Film Festival and David Stuart from 56 Dean Street Clinic in London, England, for a series of conversations to begin the development of a strategy to address sexualized meth use. 
  • Released a position paper to address issues related to men involved in sex work (MSW) across legal, advocacy, research, and service delivery sectors, presenting critical and related issues for MSW, both in Canada and beyond.


  • HIM opens the Abbotsford Sexual Health Centre. 
  • We also expand our Talk to HIM online sexual health resource with our pocket-sized guide in Farsi, Arabic and Spanish. 
  • More reach in the Fraser Region: Our volunteer counselling program and the Health Promotion Case Management program expand to the health centres in Surrey and New West. 
  • In total, HIM Sexual Health Centres administer 10,792 (rapid, standard and NAAT) HIV tests and provide 673 hours of clinical counselling and per support programming. 
  • We enter new research partnerships with the BC Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, York University, and Cambridge University (UK).


  • We open the New Westminster and Surrey health centres. 
  • HIM’s multilingual online sexual health resource, Talk to HIM, launches in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional) and Punjabi. 
  • HIM on Davie Health Centre expands its services by offering access to a nurse practitioner and the Health Promotion Case Management program.


  • Our mini-campaign called “One Million Orgasms” celebrates our condom distribution reaching 500,000. 
  • HIM’s social marketing has a positive impact on the Acute HIV Study, which prevents between 25 and 75 new HIV infections. 
  • Diversity and non-judgment: We conduct community consultations with gay men: one with substance users, the other with Chinese speakers. We also begin developing a safer substance use campaign, a web series and resources translated into prominent languages.


  • The BC Ministry of Health identifies HIM as a “key partner in reaching and engaging men into testing and care in ways that meet the needs of MSM.” 
  • More than 2,400 men are tested for HIV at our two health centres. In total, we identify 1 out of every 20 new HIV diagnoses in BC.


  • HIM opens a second health centre on Commercial Drive. In partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control, our clinics administer 2,400 HIV tests. We offer counselling and peer support services at both health centres, and our clients receive 960 hours of clinical counseling and peer support services. 
  • Our Personal Strategic Advising (PSA) program launches, with trained volunteers providing advice to gay men seeking assistance with life-planning and behaviour change.


  • Designed to educate visitors about Vancouver’s diversity, we launch Public Displays of Gay campaign to coincide with the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. 
  • We also launch Do The Math: Calculate Your Risk, a campaign that encourages gay men to examine their sexual risk using an online risk calculator.


  • We enter a formal contract with Vancouver Coastal Health to deliver health promotion services to gay men. 
  • Our wall-mounted condom dispensers in high traffic areas distribute over 50,000 condoms in three months.
  • HIM on Davie Health Centre opens, offering gay men STI testing, including rapid and early HIV tests. We also help bring NAAT (early) testing to HIM through our work with the CIHR Team. 


  • The very first Health Initiative for Men clinic opens in the heart of Vancouver’s gay village in 2008. 
  • We participate in the first WinterPride, giving HIM a face on the ski hill. 
  • We also participate in the Mancount Study, which seeks to determine the amount of unknown HIV infections among gay men and other men who have sex with men.