David J. Brennan

Associate Dean, Research; Professor; M.S.W. - Boston College; Ph.D. - Boston College
Phone Number: 
(416) 978-3273

David J. Brennan, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean Research, serves as an OHTN HIV Endgame Leadership Chair and the founding director of the CRUISElab, an interdisciplinary social work research lab that is centered on community-based research that investigates issues related to the health and well-being of gay, bisexual, two-spirit and other men who have sex with men (GB2M). He has examined how GB2M use online apps and other virtual spaces for socio-sexual connections, as well as for health education and service access. Professor Brennan serves as the lead for the Investigaytors Toronto team, a community-based research training program for young GB2M. He serves on numerous GB2M-related studies and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and community reports in these areas of interest and research expertise.


Book Chapters: 

Brennan, D.J. & Husbands, W. (2010). Now is still the time: HIV prevention and services for gay and bisexual men. In Poindexter, C. (Ed.) Handbook of HIV and Social Work: Principles, Methods, and Populations . New York: Wiley & Sons.

Brennan, D. J., (1998). How to do bereavement work. In D. Aronstein & B. Thompson (Eds.), HIV and Social Work (pp.135-144). Binghamton, NY: Hawthorne Press.

Brennan, D. J., (1998). How to involve families in hospice and home care. In D. Aronstein & B. Thompson (Eds.), HIV and Social Work (pp.123-134). Binghamton, NY: Hawthorne Press.

Brennan, D. J., (1994). Providing psychosocial support to the family of choice of the person with AIDS. In National Hospice Organization (Ed.) SectionNotes , Washington, D.C.: NHO Publications.


Invited Publications: 

Brennan, D.J. (2012). Measuring Men: The Search for Better Measures for Better Health. intersections, 3(2), 7-9.
For the article: BrennanCIHR


Publications In Refereed Journals: 
  1. Salway, T., Gesink, D., Ibrahim, S., Ferlatte, O., Rhodes, A.E., Brennan, D.J., Marchand, R., Trussler, T. (2017). Evidence of multiple mediating pathways in associations between constructs of stigma and self-reported suicide attempts in a cross-sectional of adult gay and bisexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Epub ahead of print. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-017-1019-0
  2. Brennan, D.J., Bauer, G. R., Bradley, K., Vilaythong, O. (2017). Health research on gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Homosexuality. Epub ahead of print. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2016.1247537
  3. Noor, S.W., Adam, B.D., Brennan, D.J., Moskowitz, D.A., Gardner, S. Hart , T.A. (2017). Social scenes as sexual micro-cultures: Use of Latent Class Analysis approach to examine heterogeneity among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men frequenting multiple scenes in Toronto, ON. Archives of Sexual Behaviour. Epub ahead of print. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10508-017-0948-y
  4. Hart, T. A., Noor, S. W., Adam, B. D., Vernon, J. R., Brennan, D. J., Gardner, S., … & Myers, T. (2017). Number of Psychosocial Strengths Predicts Reduced HIV Sexual Risk Behaviors Above and Beyond Syndemic Problems Among Gay and Bisexual Men. AIDS and Behavior, 1-12 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10461-016-1669-2
  5. Carusone, S. C., O’Leary, B., McWatt, S., Stewart, A., Craig, S., & Brennan, D. J. (2017). The Lived Experience of the Hospital Discharge “plan”: A Longitudinal Qualitative Study of Complex Patients. Journal Of Hospital Medicine12(1), 5-10. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jhm.2671
  6. Savage, S., Braund, R., Stewart, T., & Brennan, D. J. (2016). How could I tell them that it’s going to be okay? The impact of HIV nondisclosure criminalization on service provision to people living with HIV. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, Epub ahead of print. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15381501.2016.1261263
  7. Hottes, T.S., Gesink, D., Ferlatte, O., Brennan, D.J., Rhodes, A.E., Marchand, R., Trussler, T. (2016). Concealment of sexual minority identities in interviewer-administered government surveys and its impact on estimates of suicide ideation among bisexual and gay men. Journal of Bisexuality 16(4),427-453. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15299716.2016.1225622
  8. Emlet, C.A., Harris, L., Furlotte, C., Brennan, D.J., Pierpaoli, C. (2016). “I’m happy in my life now, I’m a positive person”: Approaches to successful aging in older adults living with HIV. Ageing and Society, epub ahead of print. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X16000878
  9. Shani, K., Khairandish, A., & Brennan, D.J. (2016). Health equity implications of excluding boys and vulnerable young men from Ontario’s HPV Immunization Program. University of Toronto Medical Journal, 93(3), 35-38.
  10. Hottes T.S., Bogaert L., Rhodes A.E., Brennan D.J., & Gesink D. (2016). Re-assessing the burden of suicide-related behavior among sexual minority adults by study sample type: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 106(5), e1-e2. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2016.303088
  11. Brennan, D.J., Lachowsky, N.J., Georgievski, G., Rosser, B.R.S., MacLachlan, D., Murray, J., & Cruising Counts Team. (2015). Experience and impact of online outreach services among men who use the Internet to seek sex with other men (MISM) in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 17(12), e277. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.4503
  12. Hart, T.A., Rotondi, N. K., Souleymanov, R., & Brennan, D.J. (2015). Psychometric properties of the social appearance anxiety scale among Canadian gay and bisexual men of color. Psychology of Sexuality and Gender Identity, 2(4), 470-481.
  13. Woodford, M.R., Chonody, J.M., Kulick, A., Renn, K., & Brennan, D.J. (2015). The LGBQ Microaggressions on Campus Scale: A scale development and validation study. Journal of Homosexuality, 62(12), 1660-1687. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2015.1078205
  14. Brennan, D. J., Souleymanov, R., George, C., Newman, P.A., Hart, T. A., Asakura, K., & Betancourt, G. (2015). Masculinity, Muscularity, and HIV Sexual Risk Among Gay and Bisexual Men of Color. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 16(4), 393-403. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0038725
  15. Emlet, C. A., Brennan, D. J., Brennenstuhl, S., Rueda, S., Hart, T. A., & Rourke, S. B. (2014). The impact of HIV-related stigma on older and younger adults living with HIV disease: does age matter? AIDS Care, 27(4), 520-528.
  16. Chonody, J.M., Woodford, M.R., Brennan, D.J., Newman, B.S., & Wang, D. (2014). Attitudes toward gay men and lesbian women among heterosexual social work faculty. Journal of Social Work Education, 50(1), 136-152. doi: 1080/10437797.2014.856239
  17. Travers, R., Munro, L., St. John, A., Klein, K., Hunter, H., Brennan, D.J., Brett, C., & Dobinson, C., (2013). A bed of roses?: The experiences of newcomer LGBT youth who migrate to Toronto. Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, 6(4), 137-150.
  18. Brennan, D.J., Asakura, K., George, C., Newman, P.A., Giwa, S., Hart, T.A., Souleymanov, R., & Betancourt, G. (2013). “Never reflected anywhere:” Body image among ethnoracialized gay and bisexual men. Body Image: An International Journal of Research, 10(3), 389-398. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2013.03.006
  19. Bauer, G.R. & Brennan, D.J. (2013). The problem with ‘behavioral bisexuality’: Assessing sexual orientation in survey research. Journal of Bisexuality, 13(2), 148-165. doi: 10.1080/15299716.2013.782260
  20. Brennan, D.J., Emlet, C., Brennenstuhl, S., & Rueda S. (2013). Socio-demographic profile of older adults with HIV/AIDS: Gender and sexual orientation differences. Canadian Journal on Aging, (32), 31-43. doi 10.1017/S0714980813000068
  21. Emlet, C.A., Brennan, D.J., Brennenstuhl, S., Rueda, S., Hart, T. A., Rourke, S. B., & OCS Study team. (2013). Protective and risk factors associated with stigma in a population of older adults living with HIV in Ontario, Canada. AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV. 25(10), 1330-1339. doi:10.1080/09540121.2013.774317
  22. Tufford, L., Newman, P.A., Brennan, D.J., Craig, S.L. & Woodford, M.R. (2012). Conducting research with lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Navigating research ethics board reviews. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 24(3), 221-240.
  23. Craig, S.L., Beaulaurier, R.L., Newman, F.L. Brennan, D.J. (2012). Health and cultural determinants of voluntary HIV testing and counseling among middle aged and older Latinas. Journal of Women and Aging. 24:97–112. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/08952841.2012.639650
  24. Woodford, M. R., Brennan, D.J., Gutiérrez, L. Luke, K.P. (2012). U.S. Graduate Social Work Faculty’s Attitudes Toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People. Journal of Social Service Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/01488376.2012.666936
  25. Peterson, J. A., Miner, M.H., Brennan, D.J., Rosser, B.R.S. (2012). HIV Treatment Optimism and Sexual Risk Behaviors among HIV Positive African American Men who have Sex with Men. AIDS Education and Prevention. 24, 91-101.
  26. Brennan, D. J., Craig, S. L., & Thompson, D. E. A. (2012). Factors associated with a drive for muscularity among gay and bisexual men. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14(1), 1-15.
  27. Brennan, D.J., Crath, R., Hart, T.A., Gadalla, T., & Gillis, L. (2011). Body satisfaction and disordered eating among men who have sex with men in Canada. International Journal of Men’s Health, (10)3, 253-268.
  28. Brennan, D.J., Emlet, C.A., Eady, A. (2011). HIV, Sexual Health, and Psychosocial Issues Among Older Adults Living with HIV in North America. Ageing International. 36(3), 313-333. DOI: 10.1007/s12126-011-9111-6.
  29. Yager, C., Steele, L., Epstein, R., Brennan, D.J , & Ross, L. E. (2010). The challenges and mental health experiences of lesbian and bisexual women who are in the process of trying to conceive. Health & Social Work , 35 (3), 191-200.
  30. Brennan, D.J. , Ross, L.E., Dobinson,C., Veldhuizen, S., & Steele, L., (2010). Men’s Sexual Orientation and Health in Canada. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 101 (3), 255-8.
  31. Brennan, D. J. , Welles, S. L., Miner, M. H., Ross M. W., Mayer. K. H., Rosser, B.R.S. Positive Connections Team. HIV treatment optimism and unsafe anal intercourse among HIV-positive mean who have sex with men: Findings from the Positive Connections study. AIDS Education and Prevention, 22 (2):126-137. doi: 10.1521/aeap.2010.22.2.126
  32. Brennan, D.J., Welles, S.L., Miner, M. H., Ross, M.W., Mayer, K.H., Rosser, B.R.S. (2009) Development of a treatment optimism scale for HIV-positive gay and bisexual men. AIDS Care. 21 (9), 1090-1097.
  33. Bih, Herng-Dar, Wang, Frank T. Y., Brennan, D. J. (2009). Have they really come out? Gay men and their parents in Taiwan. Culture, Health and Sexuality, 11 (3), 285-296.
  34. Welles, S.L., Baker, C., Miner, M., Brennan, D. J., Jacoby, S., Rosser, B.R.S. (2009). History of childhood sexual abuse and unsafe anal intercourse in a six-city study of HIV-positive men who have sex with men. American Journal of Public Health. 99 (6), 1079 – 1086.
  35. Brennan, D. J., Hellerstedt, W. L., Ross, M. W., Welles, S. L. (2007). History of childhood sexual abuse and HIV risk behaviors in gay and bisexual men. American Journal of Public Health. 97 (6), 1107-1112.


Other Selected Publications: 

Invited Book Reviews

Brennan, D.J. (2008) [Review of the book Crystal Meth and Men Who Have Sex with Men: What Mental Health Care Professionals Need to Know]. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 7 (2), 200-204 .


Awards and Honors: 
2017 Fellow: Society for Social Work and Research
2014-2019 Ontario HIV Treatment Network Applied HIV Research Chair
2011-2014 Ontario HIV Treatment Network Scholarship Salary Award
2009 CIHR: Institute of Infection and Immunology (III) New Investigators Forum attendee
2009 Distinguished Alumni Award, Boston College, Graduate School of Social Work
2006 University Wide Research Excellence Award, Boston College Graduate Student Association
1994 Community Recognition Award, AIDS Action Committee, Boston, MA
External Research Grants: 
2016-2019 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Adam, B., Lachowsky, N.J., Craig, S., Hart, T.A., Salway-Hottes, T., Mckie, R., & Souleyamnov, R. Exploring the sex- and health-seeking practices within evolving online environments of gay, bisexual, two-spirit and other men who have sex with men in Ontario: The role of online outreach for prevention and care. CIHR CBR HIV/AIDS Operating Grant: $450,000.
2017-2020 Blais, M., Boislard, M., Brennan, D.J. (Co-App), Hart, T., Lachowsky, N., Morrison, M., Morrison, T., Numer, M., Parent, S., Philibert, M. From heterocisnormative victimization to empowerment: Pathways to empowering sexual-minority youth in Canada.  Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, $147,597.
2017-2019 Lachowsky, N.J., Trussler, T., Gilbert, M., Salway, T., Jollimore, J., Brennan, D.J. (Co-I). Sex Now 2018: A National Survey on Blood Donation and Undiagnosed Blood Borne Infections. Canadian Blood Services, $400,000.
2017-2018 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Adam, B., Hart, T.A., Lachowsky, N.J., Grace, D. Assessing alternative CBS blood donor deferral screening policies for men who have sex with men. Canadian Blood Services, $50,000.
2017 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Ibanez-Carrasco, F., Adam, B. A. Ferlatte, O., & Lachowsky, N.J.  Establishing an effective periodic health monitoring survey for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Ontario. Follow up funding for the Investigaytors. Centre For REACH. $25,480.
2016-2017 MacPherson, P., Adam, B., Brennan, D.J. Reducing HIV Transmission and Improving Health Engagement Among Gay Men in Ontario. CIHR Planning and Dissemination Grants: $19,988.
2016-2017 Ryan, S., McCready, L., Craig, S., Ramsay, H., Durrant, G., Logie, C., Brennan, D.J., Adam, B., Siddiqi, A. Adapting AFFIRM: An evidence-based group mental health intervention for young newcomer and refugee African, Caribbean and Black men who have sex with men project. OHTN Community-Based Research Project: $24,867.
2014-2017 Brennan, D.J., (PI), Adam, B.D., Babcock, J.,  Burchell, A., Craig, S.L., Fenik, J., Fraser, M., Hart, T.A., Hottes, T.S., Lachowsky, N.J., McCready, L., McEwen, O., McKie, R., Murray, J., Pugh, D. A Mixed Method Exploration of Sexual Behaviour, Social Networks and Health Services Engagement among Younger Gay, Bisexual, and other Men who use the Internet to Seek Sex with Men (MISM) in Ontario. Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. $160,000.
2016-2018 King, A., Christiansen, W. Masching, R., Brennan, D.J., (Co-I), Kacklin, K., Ryan, C. Moving forward with an Aboriginal HIV and Aging Research Plan. CIHR, $32,943.
2015-2017 Gilbert, M., (PI), Brennan, D.J. (Co-PI), Ibanez-Carrasco, F., Ferlatte, O., Ogunnaike-Cooke, S., & Lachowsky, N.J.  Establishing an effective periodic health monitoring survey for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men in Ontario. Centre For REACH. $69,376.
2014-2017 Otis, J., Monteith, K.M., Blais, M., Beaudry, S., Jollimore, J., Lacasse, G., Laflamme, S., Lambert, G., Rousseau, R., Brennan, D.J., Cote, J., Flores-Aranda, J.M., Lachowsky, N.J., & Ramirez Garcia, M.P. Conjuguer prévention combinée et érotisme : Recherche évaluative participative du programme Phénix, version 2.0. CIHR HIV/AIDS CBR Operating Grant. $450,000.
2014-2016 McCready, L., Thomas, S.R., Adam, B., Brennan, D.J., Craig, S.L., Siddiqi, A., Gesink, C., Logie, C., Durrant, G., Pierre-Pierre, V., Tharao, W. Adapting HIV Prevention Resources, Programs and Services for Newcomer and Refugee African, Caribbean, Black Men Who Have Sex With Men (ACBMSM): Assessment and Selection. CIHR CBR HIV/AIDS Catalyst Grant. $30,000.
2014-2019 Hart, T.A., Moore, D., Cox, J., Jollimore, J. (PIs)…Brennan, D.J. (Co-I). HIV prevention for gay and bisexual men: A multisite study and development of new HIV prevention interventions. CIHR Team Grant: Advancing Research to Improve Boys’ and Men’s Health. $1,500,000.
2014 – 2019 Rourke, S.B., (numerous Co-PIs and Co-Is)…Brennan, D.J. (Co-I). CIHR Centre for REACH (Research Evidence into Action for Community Health) in HIV/AIDS (2.0). CIHR Centre for HIV/AIDS Research. $5,000,000.
2014 – 2016 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Adam, B., Burchell, A., Craig, S., Hart, T.A., Lachowsky, N., McCready, L., & Salway Hottes, T. A mixed method exploration of sexual behaviour, social networks, and health services engagement among younger gay, bisexual, and other men who use the internet to seek sex with men (MISM) in Ontario. Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research. $160,000.
2014 – 2016 Peck, R., Nussbaun, N., Bauer, G., & Brennan, D.J. (Co-I). Legal Needs Assessment for Trans Ontarians Study. Legal Aid Ontario. $126,000.
2014 – 2015 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Jackson, R., Zoccole, A., & Nobis, T. The Seven Truths of Resiliency: Using the Medicine Wheel to examine resilience among long-term HIV-positive two-spirit men. OHTN $19,950.
2014 Hart, T.A., Moore, D., Cox, J., Jollimore, J. (PIs)…Brennan, D.J. (Co-I). HIV prevention for gay and bisexual men: A multisite cohort and development of new HIV prevention interventions. CIHR Team Grant: Advancing Research to Improve Boys’ and Men’s Health. LOI $10,000
2013 – 2015 Brennan, D.J. (PI), O’Leary, B., Craig, S. L., Chan Carusone, S., & Stewart, A. From hospital to community: A Collective case study of the discharge and transitions experiences of adults living with HIV/AIDS. CIHR Catalyst Grant: HIV/AIDS Community-Based Stream. $32,762.60
2013 – 2014 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Lachowsky, N., Betancourt, G., Chikermane, V., Fraser, M., MacLachlan, D., McEwen, O., Murray J., Pugh, D., Durrant, G., Utama, R., & Rosser, B. R. Cruising Counts: Examining online and app-based sexual health outreach for MSM in Ontario. Ontario HIV Treatment Network Targeted Funding. $78,853
2013 – 2014 Craig, S.L. (PI), Lawless, M., Brennan, D.J. (Co-I), & Flicker, S. Affirmative coping skills training to reduce HIV/AIDS risk for sexual minority youth: An open pilot feasibility study. Canadian Institute of Health Research. $32,981
2012 – 2015 Betancourt, G. (Brennan, D.J., supervisor). Masculinities and migration: Analyzing the impact of gender discourses on Latino gay men’s safe sexual practices in Canada. Doctoral Research Award (HIV/AIDS Community –Based Research). CIHR Institute of Gender and Health. $105,000.
2012 – 2014 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Zoccole, A., Jackson, R., Nobis, T. Exploring the Health and Wellness of   Long-Term HIV-Positive Two-Spirit Men in Ontario. CIHR Catalyst Grant: HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal Health. $100,000.
2011 – 2016 Brennan, D. J. , Ontario HIV Treatment Network Scholarship Salary Award: “Resiliencies and Risks: Addressing HIV and Other Health Disparities among Marginalized Men Who Have Sex with Men.” $260,000.
2011 – 2012 Brennan, D.J.,(PI) & Rueda, S.  Double Jeopardy? A Salon on the Joys and Discontents of Aging with HIV. CIHR: Café Scientifique. $3,000.
2010 – 2012 Lewis-Peart, D., McCready, L., Brennan, D.J. ( Co-I), Adam, B., Nelson, L. Impact of Black CAP’s Modified Many Men, Many Voices intervention on young black men who have sex with men in Toronto . Ontario HIV Treatment Network. $46,264.
2010 – 2011 Bauer, G.R. & Brennan, D.J. (Co-PI). Are Gay Men Really Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)? Methodological Issues in Measuring Male Sexual Orientation in Health Research. CIHR: $42,790.
2010 – 2011 Emlet, C. & Brennan, D.J. (Co-PI). A profile of Older Adults with HIV/AIDS in Toronto Ontario. Embassy of Canada. $6,580.
2009 – 2015 Rourke, S.B., (PI), multiple Co-PIs and Co-Is, Brennan, D.J . (one of multiple co-Is). Centre for REACH (Research Evidence into Action for Community Health) in HIV/AIDS. CIHR: $2.5 million.
2009 – 2015 Rourke, S.B., (PI), multiple Co-PIs and Co-Is, Brennan, D.J . (one of multiple co-Is). Universitae Sine Murae “Universities Without Walls” Training grant – CIHR Centre for Interdisciplinary Training and Research in HIV/AIDS (CITHRA). $1.8 million.
2009 – 2012 Brennan, D.J., (PI) Newman, P.A., George, C., Hart, T.A., Persad, I., Ceranto, A., Eating disorders, body image satisfaction and physical, mental and sexual health among gay and bisexual men who identify with ethno-racialised communities. Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada. $152,000.
2009 – 2010 Travers, R., Flynn, S., Flicker, S., Brennan, D.J., Hart, T.A.. Teens Resisting Urban Trans/Homophobia (TRUTH). Ontario HIV Treatment Network. $25,000.
2008 – 2009 Guimond, T. (PI), Strike, C., (Co-PI), Brennan, D.J. , Cullen, J., Dolan, L., Halman, M., Husbands, W., Mahan, M., Milson, P., Murray, J. (Co-I’s). Developing research in HIV risk-reduction for substance-using gay and bisexual men: A harm-reduction approach employing motivational interviewing. Ontario HIV Treatment Network. $100,000.
2008 – 2009 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Hart, T.A. (Co-I), Gillis, L. (Co-I). Body Image and Health: Eating Attitudes and Behaviors and Body Image Satisfaction among Gay and Bisexual Men in Ontario. Ontario HIV Treatment Network. $9,818.
2008 – 2009 Brennan, D.J. (PI), Hart, T.A. (Co-I), Gillis, L. (Co-I). Eating Attitudes and Behaviors and Body Image Satisfaction among Gay and Bisexual Men in Ontario. Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. $700 (U.S.).