HIV/AIDS Resource Center (HARC) Evaluation, Planning, and Innovation: Working to Create a Sex-Positive Online Community for MSM project unfolded in several phases. HARC evaluated its new media use and then trained staff to support development of a new media strategy. To create the strategy, HARC conducted focus groups and a survey with young MSM of color. The team then created a demonstration version of a mobile-based website to promote HIV awareness and health for young MSM. The project has poised HARC to strategically move ahead with social media, including an intervention to promote testing among young MSM.
In the Meantime Men’s Group started ITMT411, a text messaging intervention to engage and inform YAAMSM. The agency held focus groups to develop messages, built a group of peer leaders who give ITMT411 visibility, and texted approximately 580 YAAMSM about prevention events. On average, five of these men called the program each day to learn about services. Attendance at group sessions also increased. The agency plans to continue to work with youth to find the most effective ways to reach this population.
The enthusiasm among these programs mirrors our excitement in seeing how local programs are adding new media strategies to reach people at disproportionate risk. Are you using new media to reach out to MSM? What lessons can you share? Please let us know.
Stay tuned for the following post in this series next Tuesday.