207355 “My dear horny, healthy friends”: The development and use of an online video to promote HIV testing among MSM

Monday, November 9, 2009

Scott Rhodes, PhD, MPH, CHES , Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Aaron T. Vissman, MPH , Social Science and Health Policy, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Jason Stowers , Triad Health Project, Greensboro, NC
Cynthia Miller , Division of Public Health Sciences/Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Ellen Hendrix , Ellen Hendrix, LLC, Winston-Salem, NC
Thomas McCoy, MS , Department of Biostatistical Science, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Aimee Wilkin, MD, MPH , Department of Internal Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Addison Ore , Triad Health Project, Greensboro, NC
Issue: Sexually active MSM are recommended to be tested for HIV each year. Our research suggests that a substantial proportion of MSM in local chat rooms designed for social and sexual networking with other men have never been tested for HIV.

Description: Our community-based participatory research (CBPR) partnership initiated a study to promote the use of HIV testing programs among MSM through online, “in-real-time” outreach. An interventionist engages online MSM and provides information about HIV testing and how to access testing services. He also refers online MSM to a website that provides a 10-minute video entitled “My Dear Horny, Healthy Friends.”

The video was developed by the CBPR partnership. It includes a dinner party among 3 friends of diverse ages, ethnicities, socio-economic statuses, and levels of “outness.” The conversation focuses on reasons to be tested and describes the process at 3 distinct testing venues: local health departments, a local AIDS service organization (ASO), and one's healthcare provider. The video is designed to demystify the testing process.

Lessons Learned: Developing a meaningful script took several iterations of revisions by community insiders (e.g., gay men), health behavior and HIV researchers, and videographers. Incorporating theoretical constructs from social cognitive theory was not difficult; however, crafting educational and entertaining messages to meet a broad range of potential audience segments without being too general was challenging.

Recommendations: This video is a promising social marketing strategy to overcome barriers to reach MSM who may be at increased risk, and further research blending practice is warranted.

Learning Objectives:
By the conclusion of the presentation, the participant will be able to: 1) Describe the CBPR process for developing an online video designed to increase HIV testing among MSM who use chat rooms for social and sexual networking; 2) Outline the theoretical foundations of the video; and 3) Delineate the lessons learned during the development and initial use of this social marketing strategy.

Keywords: Health Promotion, Gay Men

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Interventionist experienced in HIV prevention interventions for MSM.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: HIV and MSM
See more of: HIV/AIDS