Using online media to educate hard to reach MSM on safer sex

Published: July 18, 2010

Using online media to educate hard to reach MSM on safer sex

H.S. Aaren

Action for AIDS, Singapore, MSM Department, Singapore, Singapore

Issues: In Singapore, HIV/AIDS programmes can only be conducted in limited settings. It is thus a challenge to reach out to MSM who do not visit MSM establishments or who do not identify themselves as gay. We need to reach MSM through innovating ways on the internet. Singapore’s internet penetration rate is 95%, which makes for the perfect environment.

Description: We conducted a review of our internet outreach programme. Volunteers who conducted the outreach would compile reports of the clients. The profiles of the clients and the common queries were collated, which were analysed to identify gaps within the programmes.
The data showed that most of our clients are young MSM and self-identified bisexuals. Clients were also concerned about issues on how HIV is developed and mostly symptoms.
We revamped our internet outreach programme by targeting specific chatrooms where we know the target audiences would visit. We also compiled a common question and answer sheet for the volunteers. In addition, we provided in-house training for our volunteers to regularly update their knowledge on HIV/AIDS.

Lessons learned: After the new improvements to our programme were implemented, we were able to target our programmed to audiences who would be more receptive towards our services and we were able to increase our reach. We had also received feedback from clients who stated that the services were customised and relevant to their needs.

Next steps: We were able to use the internet to reach a wider and more diversified MSM audience, which we were not able to reach at clubs and saunas. We will further analyse the data to utilise findings to improve our internet outreach programme. Further results and implementation learning will be shared at the presentation.

Download the e-Poster (pdf)

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