C-CHANGE
C-Channel:
Issue 42 | JUNE 2012
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Communicating about HIV Prevention with Men Who Have Sex with Men, Part 2

Of Interest…

A recent publication from C-Change, A Multi-Step Process and Tools for SBCC Capacity Strengthening, outlines the approach developed by
C-Change/Namibia to strengthen the capacity of NGOs and private sector organizations to design, implement, and evaluate SBCC programs for HIV prevention. Descriptions of, and links to, the tools developed by C Change to assist this capacity strengthening process are available on C-Hub

C-Channel 42 continues the theme of issue 41 on communication interventions for men who have sex with men (MSM). The first abstract refers to the under-researched issue of homosexuality in Africa and the viability of edutainment as a vehicle for stigma reduction. The second article describes the use of Photovoice, a tool that combines photography with grassroots social action in adapting a program for young African American MSM. The third and fourth articles discuss social marketing campaigns: Hombres Sanos and "Are You Iffy?" The fifth article reviews an adaptation of the C-POL model for training peer leaders to deliver culturally aware prevention interventions via social media for Latino and African American MSM. The sixth suggests there might be ways to use sexually explicit media to create innovative approaches to online HIV prevention for MSM.

A recent C-Change publication, Social and Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) for Frontline Health Care Workers, supports the goal of improving communication on HIV prevention. Nurses, community health extension workers, and HIV counselors will learn how to apply social and behavior change communication (SBCC) and interpersonal communication (IPC) in their interactions with clients, deliver higher-quality care, and support advocacy and social mobilization efforts. It is available on C-Hub.

 

In this issue

Communicating about HIV Prevention with Men Who Have Sex with Men, Part 2

1. Using entertainment education as a vehicle for stigma reduction

2. Photovoice as a tool to adapt an HIV prevention intervention for African American young men

3. Marketing HIV prevention: The Hombres Sanos campaign

4. "Are you iffy?": social marketing campaign to address uncertainty in HIV status communication
ONLINE FULL TEXT

5. Harnessing Online Peer Education (HOPE): Integrating C-POL and social media

6. A commentary on the role of sexually explicit media (SEM)


Communicating about HIV Prevention with MSM, Part 2

1. Homosexuality and HIV in Africa: An essay on using entertainment education as a vehicle for stigma reduction

Authors: Sallar M; Somda D
Institution: College of Health Sciences and Professions, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Source: Sexuality & Culture 2011, 15(3): 279-309. DOI: 10.1007/s12119-011-9094-1.

ABSTRACT

HIV transmission in sub Saharan Africa has been consistently reported to be heterosexual. The existence of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM) has been denied and the epidemic among them ignored although homosexuality in the continent has been documented. Consequently, limited research has been conducted among Africa's MSM. Homophobia has been reported as one of the key forces driving Africa's epidemic because stigma and discrimination may make MSM a hard-to-reach group for HIV prevention and early treatment services. We conducted searches in journals, newspapers, UNAIDS and MSM web sites to read laws, abuse, and discrimination of MSM. We reviewed literature on entertainment education and its success in addressing social, political, and health issues worldwide in order to propose a solution to the issue. Fifty-five percent of African countries have laws against sex between men. Penalties range from fines, imprisonment, or death. Official harassments, state sponsored homophobia and threats against MSM have been documented. Stigmatization can create barriers to testing, restrict utilization of prevention programs, condom use, and failure to disclose HIV status to sexual partners. This paper suggests a communication strategy such as entertainment education to raise awareness and tolerance and to promote action in the fight against HIV/AIDS epidemic and related stigmatization among Africa's MSM. Entertainment Education which derives from various theories can be disseminated through radio or TV and can bring behavior and social change by offering the audience an opportunity for social learning. It has been effective worldwide and examples include Grey's Anatomy, ER, Philadelphia, Soul City, Eastenders, and the telenovela Simplemente Maria and can pave way for HIV prevention and treatment in a vulnerable population.

To purchase the full text of this article, click here. Access the journal website here.

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2. Photovoice as a tool to adapt an HIV prevention intervention for African American young men who have sex with men

Authors: Kubicek K; Beyer W;, Weiss G; Kipke M
Institution: Community, Health Outcomes, and Intervention Research Program, The Saban Institute, Childrens Hospital, Los Angeles
Source: Health Promotion Practice, April 1, 2011 online. doi:10.1177/1524839910387131.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: HIV rates for African American young men who have sex with men (AAYMSM) have reached as much as 14.7%, compared with 2.5% and 3.5% among Caucasian and Latino YMSM. However, there remains a lack of HIV prevention interventions for this population. This study describes the use of Photovoice in the adaptation process of an evidence-based intervention (Adult Identity Mentoring) to make it developmentally and culturally appropriate for AAYMSM.
METHOD: A total of 36 AAYMSM (aged 18-24 years) participated in weekly working group sessions to conduct a community-, youth-, and data-driven adaptation process. Photovoice was used as a technique to facilitate guided discussions on topics that were identified for the new curriculum.
RESULTS: Through Photovoice discussions, we identified a new focus for the adapted intervention, Young Men's Adult Identity Mentoring (YM-AIM): development and maintenance of healthy intimate relationships. This new focus and the resulting curriculum are rooted in the voices and perceptions of the target population.
CONCLUSIONS: Including youth was integral to the adaptation process and the use of techniques such as Photovoice helped ensure that the resulting adaptation was relevant to the target population.

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3. Marketing HIV prevention for heterosexually identified Latino men who have sex with men and women: The Hombres Sanos Campaign

Authors: Cerdeño A1; Martínez-Donate A2; Zellner J3; Sañudo F4; Carillo H5, Engelberg M6, Sipan C3 Hovell M3
Institutions: 1. Population Council-Mexico, Mexico City; 2. Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison; 3. Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University; 4. Vista Community Clinic, Vista, Ca., 5. Department of Sociology, Northwestern University; 6. ResearchWorks, San Diego.
Source: Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, online 13 Apr 2012. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2011.635766.

ABSTRACT

This article describes the development process of Hombres Sanos, a social marketing campaign to promote HIV testing and condom use for heterosexually identified Latino men who have sex with men and women. The steps included qualitative formative research and a social marketing analytic framework to understand our target audience better, identify incentives and barriers to risk reduction, guide product development, define an optimal promotional campaign, and inform the selection of campaign platforms. A better grasp of the authors' target beneficiaries' needs and values led to an innovative dual strategy for audience segmentation and targeting. The campaign had consumer-centered, culturally sensitive, and theory-driven communication materials. The authors found communication materials and events to be appealing and effective. The campaign was well received among the wider community, and evaluation showed promising results among Latino men in general and among heterosexually identified Latino men who have sex with men and women in particular. The authors provide a step-by-step overview of the project's formative research, including research methods and findings, and how these were translated into a social marketing campaign. In addition, the authors discuss the challenges encountered in this process and the potential of social marketing to reduce HIV risk among Latinos.

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4. "Are you iffy?": A social marketing campaign to address uncertainty in HIV status communication among men who have sex with men

Authors: Hecht J1; Riggs B1; Hargraves B1; Wei C2; Raymond H3
Institutions: STOPAIDS Project, San Francisco; 2 Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh; San Francisco Department of Public Health
Source: Sexually Transmitted Diseases 2011, 38(5): 457.

ABSTRACT

Recent data show that 44% of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States were unaware of their infection. Having inaccurate information about one's HIV status along with increasing practice of serosorting may increase risk of HIV infection among MSM. Yet, the continued use of the language "HIV-negative" to describe one's HIV status, regardless of recent sexual risk and HIV testing history, suggests that new language is needed for self assessment and communication of HIV status. We launched a social marketing campaign "Are You Iffy?" to encourage MSM in San Francisco to reassess their HIV-negative status.

To link to the full text of this article online, click here. Access the journal website here.

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5. Harnessing Online Peer Education (HOPE): Integrating C-POL and social media to train peer leaders in HIV prevention

Authors: Jaganath D; Gill H; Cohen A; Young S
Institution: David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles
Source: AIDS Care 2011 Dec 7 [Epub ahead of print].

ABSTRACT

Abstract Novel methods, such as Internet-based interventions, are needed to combat the spread of HIV. While past initiatives have used the Internet to promote HIV prevention, the growing popularity, decreasing digital divide, and multi-functionality of social networking sites, such as Facebook, make this an ideal time to develop innovative ways to use online social networking sites to scale HIV prevention interventions among high-risk groups. The UCLA Harnessing Online Peer Education study is a longitudinal experimental study to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effectiveness of using social media for peer-led HIV prevention, specifically among African American and Latino Men who have Sex with Men (MSM). No curriculum currently exists to train peer leaders in delivering culturally aware HIV prevention messages using social media. Training was created that adapted the Community Popular Opinion Leader (C-POL) model, for use on social networking sites. Peer leaders are recruited who represent the target population and have experience with both social media and community outreach. The curriculum contains the following elements: discussion and role playing exercises to integrate basic knowledge of HIV/AIDS, awareness of sociocultural HIV/AIDS issues in the age of technology, and communication methods for training peer leaders in effective, interactive social media-based HIV prevention. Ethical issues related to Facebook and health interventions are integrated throughout the sessions. Training outcomes have been developed for long-term assessment of retention and efficacy. This is the first C-POL curriculum that has been adapted for use on social networking websites. Although this curriculum has been used to target African-American and Latino MSM, it has been created to allow generalization to other high-risk groups.

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6. A commentary on the role of sexually explicit media (SEM) in the transmission and prevention of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM).

Authors: Rosser B; Grey J; Wilkerson J; Iantaffi A; Brady S; Smolenski D; Horvath K.
Institution: HIV/STI Intervention and Prevention Program, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Source: AIDS and Behavior 2012 Jan 18 [Epub ahead of print].

ABSTRACT

Although research has been conducted over the last half century to test the hypothesis that pornography, or sexually explicit media (SEM), influences behavior, information regarding usage and its effect on men who have sex with men (MSM) is limited. It is important for researchers studying online risk factors for HIV to consider the relationship between SEM consumption and risky sexual behavior, particularly given the exponential increase in SEM exposure as a result of the near-compulsory use of the Internet. In this commentary, we review findings regarding this relationship from studies of international and heterosexual populations. We then suggest future directions for research regarding MSM in the United States and practical applications of such research if the results from other populations extend to them. Research suggests there might be ways to use SEM to create innovative approaches to online HIV prevention, particularly among such at-risk populations as youth and MSM of lower socio-economic statuses

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This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the terms of Agreement No. GPO-A-00-07-00004-00. The contents are the responsibility of C-Change, and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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