Reaching Men Who Have Sex with Men for HIV Prevention Messaging with New Media: Recommendations from An Expert Consultation

Published: December 14, 2011

Abstract

We report on the results of an expert consultation held by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the use of the Internet and new media to deliver HIV prevention messaging to men who have sex with men (MSM). Experts from government, academia, community?based AIDS service organizations (CBOs/ASOs), and the private sector participated in discussions to examine the strengths and weaknesses of specific channels, technologies, and Websites for delivering HIV prevention messages; and how the issues raised could inform the development of electronic materials to educate, and support choices for different risk reduction strategies. Analysis of the meeting discussion suggested that consultants viewed the Internet and other new media as having great potential to reach MSM with HIV prevention messages. Key themes related to flexibility, reach, visual appeal, engagement, interactivity, and community building were discussed with emphasis given to optimizing the impact and effectiveness via message timing and linking to other resources or data. Several challenges were noted, including structural barriers and the need to deliver HIV content in the context of MSM health issues. Implications for health promotion practice are discussed.

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