Gay mens sexual health promotion in mainstream media: a Downunder perspecitve

Published: July 18, 2010

Gay men´s sexual health promotion in mainstream media: a Downunder perspecitve

B. Wilcock1, J. Asselin2

1Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, Education, Sydney, Australia, 2Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre, Health Promotion, Melbourne, Australia

Issues: Rates of STIs have been increasing in gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in Australia since the mid-1990s, with more rapid increases seen since 2002.

Description: To respond to this, the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO) developed ‘The Drama Downunder’, a widespread national community based campaign to promote regular and comprehensive sexual health checks for these men. This campaign was implemented nationally from 2006 to 2008. The campaign differed from most other community based campaigns in that it employed the tools of mainstream outdoor advertising as a key engagement component.

Lessons learned: The external evaluation of the campaign found very high levels of campaign recognition of up to 84%, and comprehension of 88%. This high level of recognition was aided by engaging creative and a broad media strategy that incorporated different kinds of mainstream advertising channels including outdoor media. The evaluation demonstrates that the approach of adopting a more comprehensive media strategy was effective at increasing the reach of the campaign and suggested some evidence of behaviour change.

Next steps: These results support the value of using mainstream advertising strategies for targeting gay men and other MSM in future campaigns.

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