Gay-box: What a gay man needs lead: the Swiss AIDS Federation started an innovative online service

Published: July 22, 2010

Gay-box: What a gay man needs lead: the Swiss AIDS Federation started an innovative online service

T. Gläser1, D. Bruttin2, D. Diriwächter1

1Aids Hilfe Schweiz, Zürich, Switzerland, 2Aids Hilfe Schweiz, Direction, Zürich, Switzerland

Issues: The Swiss Aids Federation had to face it: the usual MSM-prevention needed a change. Gay men have become tired of the common prevention methods. HIV has lost its scare and furthermore sexually transmitted diseases arise more frequently. Therefore a new innovation was in great demand. In a pitch with several advertisers the end result was www.gay-box.ch. A website in WEB.02 standard, as a new brand named GAY-BOX.
Description: The idea behind this is simple: give gay-men what they like – and add prevention messages to it. www.gay-box.ch contains the latest information from the so-called gay-world. From culture, fashion to celebrities and upcoming events, every registered user can create his own GAY-BOX. The colored and movable boxes are windows, which lead to other sites. Almost like an I-Google for gays, the site collaborates with established gay-partners in Switzerland.
Most importantly, GAY HEALTH is always updated and online. With these special boxes, you can find a SEX-COACH Box with safer-sex-tips, as well the SEX-WIKI, a smaller version of the well-known Wikipedia, which explains terms and definitions around gay sex-life. The EMERGENCY-BOX contains addresses for anonymous HIV testing, counseling or PEP emergency numbers.
www.gay.-box.ch is in three languages and is hosted by the MSM Prevention team.
Lessons learned: GAY-BOX is not only an instrument for the online prevention, but also multifunctional for the Swiss Outreach-Worker in the regions. Hand in hand with the promotion, there were several GAY-BOX events which gave their work a desired red line.
Next steps: The Swiss Aids Federation supports the GAY-BOX as a well-needed instrument for the future MSM-prevention. In the near future further applications will be added (such as I-Phone), and campaigns can also be kept under one umbrella. Gay-Box is expandable and can adapt, and has a bright future ahead.

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