Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Internet outreach and beyond: Getting real about HIV to a new generation of Black MSM

Internet outreach and beyond: Getting real about HIV to a new generation of Black MSM

(The M.O.C.H.A. Project: www.mochaproject.org)

Sheldon D. Fields, PhD, RN, FNP1, Alexander Camacho, BS2, Kraig Pannell, BA2, John Morgan, MSW2, Avril Little, BA2, Mitchell Wharton, MS, CRNP1, and Michael Stevens, BS2. (1) School of Nursing, University of Rochester, 601 Elmwood Avenue, Box SON, Rochester, NY 14642, 585-275-9943, sheldon_fields@urmc.rochester.edu, (2) Men of Color Health Awareness Project, Inc.(MOCHA), 107 Liberty Pole Way, Rochester, NY 14604

Issues: Black Men who have Sex with other Men (Black MSM) account for more than half of all new HIV infections among MSM. This new generation of Black MSM has strayed away from utilizing public venues as networking sites and has gained an elaborate knowledge and connection with peers through online internet methods.

HIV/AIDS prevention outreach that traditionally targeted public arenas such as bars, bookstores and sex worker circuits has failed to reach the younger Black MSM population. The internet has become a primary means by which Black MSM are finding and engaging each other in a variety of sexual and drug related activities. Some activities include bareback sex, party and play associated with Crystal Meth, masturbation groups, fetish play such as sadistic masochist torture and urine play.

Description: Project Y.E.A.H. (Youth Empowerment Around HIV) has analyzed the behavioral patterns of Black MSM who engage in these online drug and sex chat forums. Through electronic communications and an effective methodology of internet HIV/AIDS prevention techniques, outreach workers discuss current health topics of interest in main chat forums and/or promote enrollment in Project Y.E.A.H. services. Outreach workers also perform individual level interventions and recommend office visits to individuals with high-risk profiles. Lessons Learned: Internet outreach has proven to be an effective means to reach and enroll Black MSM in Project Y.E.A.H. services. Furthermore, it has also increased awareness of other agency programs and services.

Recommendations: Community based organizations that target Black MSM should develop online outreach strategies to promote their programs.

Learning Objectives:

  • a)Identify online internet venues that target Black MSM.
  • b)Structure internet outreach in accordance with HIV Confidentiality Laws.
  • c)Follow-up with high risk profile individuals.

Keywords: African American, Internet

Related Web page: www.mochaproject.org


American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
November 5-9, 2005
New Orleans, LA
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