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Maximising Facebook and YouTube for HIV prevention in gay men

Maximising Facebook and YouTube for HIV prevention in gay men

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A new range of guides has been released to help target gay men on digital platforms about HIV prevention.

Gay men have long been early adopters of technology, embracing everything from Facebook and YouTube to apps like Grindr and PlanetRomeo.

This group has also been one of the hardest hit by the HIV epidemic and continues to be disproportionately affected.

That’s why the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has teamed up with Terrence Higgins Trust and STI AIDS Netherlands to produce a range of guides for using online platforms – including YouTube and Facebook – to target gay men around HIV prevention.

They include using the platform to promote local testing or provide information about accessing HIV prevention drug pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

The guides cover Google AdWords, YouTube, online outreach, smartphone app adverts, Facebook and other digital platforms.

Cary James, Head of Health Improvement Programmes at Terrence Higgins Trust, said: 'Digital platforms are an incredibly useful way to talk to gay and bisexual men about HIV prevention, but some HIV organisations have been unable to fully utilise their potential.

'That’s why I’m so pleased to share these insights and enable more organisations across Europe to maximise the opportunities of YouTube, Facebook and dating apps.

'Smartphones have revolutionised many aspects of our lives, and the way men who have sex with men arrange sexual encounters has drastically changed. The increasing popularity of smartphone apps among this group provides an enormous opportunity for HIV prevention.

'Social media targeting is a key part of National HIV Testing Week in England and European HIV and Hepatitis Testing Week, and has been incredibly successful. We hope the guidance for targeting gay and bisexual men will be useful to ensure maximum impact among this important group, which remains disproportionately affected by HIV.'

Effective use of digital platforms for STI/HIV prevention among MSM