Recommendations from a Research Consultation to Inform the Next Generation of HIV Prevention Messaging for MSM

Published: October 3, 2011

ABSTRACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
convened a consultation with experts in communication and HIV
behavioral science to identify dimensions of new HIV prevention
strategies, discuss implications of these dimensions for messaging,
recommend messaging principles, and recommend future research to
inform the development of the next generation of HIV prevention
messages for men who have sex with men (MSM). Complexity and
uncertainty were two recurrent themes that ran throughout the
discussion and underlay many of the experts’ recommendations. Several
issues generated considerable discussion, and the experts agreed on
their importance: (1) capitalize on the opportunity to refresh condom
use messaging, (2) communicate transparently, (3) segment the
population, (4) use message delivery strategies that are not typical for
CDC campaigns, and (5) consider a range of outcomes when messaging
about new HIV prevention approaches. In consideration of these factors,
experts recommended tools that are interactive and flexible to inform
and educate MSM about new and emerging risk reduction strategies for
HIV prevention.

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