20th International AIDS Conference - Melbourne, Australia

MOGS03 Like Me, Tweet Me, Post Me: Community Innovations Using Mobile and Online Technology for Youth HIV Programming
  GV Panel Discussion
Venue: Youth Pavilion
Time: 21.07.2014, 12:30 - 14:00
Chair: Laurindo Garcia, Philippines

This talk show style session will highlight examples of community-based HIV programming for men who have sex with men and transgender communities using internet and communication technology. Representatives from The Global Fund, UNAIDS and PEPFAR will discuss how their agencies support technology for these populations globally, look at the future of funding and programming in this area, and assess the potential for new regional and country-level initiatives. #MSMTransTech is the hashtag for the event and participants in this session will be encouraged to post photos, record videos and live tweet their responses to the topic. Relevant tweets and key HIV resources associated with this session will also be shared on a dedicated Facebook page.
L. Garcia, Philippines

Background and overview
D. Adams, United States

Suck. F*#k. Test. Repeat. TestBKK.org
A. Tibamrung, Thailand

C. Sandler, United States

Trans social support through TLBZ Sexperts!
N. Chaiyajit, Thailand

Online outreach in Cameroon
Y. Yomb, Cameroon

Test More + Treat Early + Stay Safe = Ending HIV
Y. Calmette, Australia

Questions and answers

Dialogue: Global Perspective
R. Burzynski, UNAIDS
K. Green, Ghana


Powerpoints presentations
Background and overview - Darrin Adams

Suck. F*#k. Test. Repeat. TestBKK.org - Apiwit Tibamrung
Suck. F*#k. Test. Repeat. TestBKK.org - Apiwit Tibamrung


Test More + Treat Early + Stay Safe = Ending HIV - Yves Calmette

Rapporteur reports

Global Village report by Nic Dorward

MOGS03 Like Me, Tweet Me, Post Me: Community Innovations Using Mobile and Online Technology for Youth HIV Programming

Session summary: A series of case studies and advice on effective social media campaigns targeting young MSM from across Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Key ideas/recommendations are bolded throughout. 

Speaker’s summary:

Laurindo Garcia – Moderator

 “We call it social media not bio-medical media” 

Darrin Andrews (MC)

Acknowledge Yves Jong from Cameroon who was denied a visa by Aus Dept of Immigration.  Suggests that those interested continue conversation via #msmtranstech hashtag. 

Apiwit Tibamrung

  • ·      Speaking to the “Suck. Fuck. Test. Repeat” campaing run by TestBBK.org/APCOM based out of Bangkok – (where 1:3 MSM are HIV+ with 41% of new infections being MSM).
  • ·      This target audience traditionally not serviced by Thai health organisations.
  • ·      “We didn’t want key populations to run away from a boring campaign so made it bold”

Carl Sandler

  • Didn’t present, but is CEO of MISTER, app that encourages men to date stigma free instead of disclose status in profiles.

Yves Calmette (ACON)

  • ·      In NSW, Australia,  85% of cases of HIV are MSM and 30% young (-29 y/o). ACON created the ENDING HIV campaign that now enjoys an 85% recall rate for young gay men post-campaign launch with 50% of social media followers <30yo
  • ·      ACON had to rethink how they engage with MSM – the maintain effective health promotion we need to talk EVERYDAY with young gay men (social media is essential here).
  • ·      Tips: Understand MSM and why/how they use SM. It’s all about content. Your fans own the relationship. Don’t spam. Be responsive to trends on social media. Mix of promo and edu content.

Nada Chaiyajit

  • ·      Runs an online program for Thai trans*.
  • ·      Up to 4K members and 100% trans community lead, and over 1K members under age of 13.
  • ·      Recommends an audience centred approach is needed.
  • ·      Mod note: capacity building must include trans so no-one is left behind.

Kimberly Green

  • ·      Recalls noticing real interaction amongst MSM on health promotion was on Facebook. In Ghana they realised we were only reaching <50% of MSM through traditional outreach.
  • ·      Facebook  provides space for safe interaction. 15K individuals reached through FB now, more than possible through peer education.
  • ·      SM is increasing uptake of treatment, testing, and beyond. How does it fit in the community?
  • ·      Need to be thinking across the cascade – beyond prevention to retaining in care.  
  • ·      How much does it cost to do social media? – it’s cheap but this is about combination outreach. No one way is going to translate into desired outcome. SM is less expensive (but it requires skilled moderation).

Richard Burzynski

  • ·      We used to tell gay men by hankies etc to find community. You have to get over the isolation and today we have more supportive ways of getting there (i.e. Social Media).
  • ·      New spaces are emerging while the bars etc are disappearing, but we still long for a community.
  • ·      Dilemma – turning the technology into something we can use. How does UNAIDS have impact in this field? We’re struggling.

On the floor questions:

  • ·      Moderation – how to do it effectively? Recommendation to look to how media orgs do it already, it’s been going on for a while.
  • ·      Creative teams: ACON has a young gun team of social media who work non-trad hours to moderate. “Youth” here is vital part of equation. Recognise that the best team to tackle social media are native users, not entrenched staff.

Track C report by Kanna Hayashi

This session highlighted recent examples of community-based HIV education campaigns using social media for young MSM and transgendered persons. While the potential role of social media in leading HIV prevention efforts among these populations was acknowledged, several important challenges were also noted.

Apiwit Tibamrung presented the “Suck. F*#k. Test. Repeat. TestBKK.org” campaign, which aimed to increase HIV testing rates among young MSM in Bangkok. He reported that a controversial but catchy slogan and content, as well as the use of various media channels (i.e., the static website, Facebook and YouTube) have made their campaign successful.

Yves Calmette presented the “Test More + Treat Early + Stay Safe = Ending HIV” campaign targeting young MSM in New South Wales, Australia. Within18 months, they received 12,000 Facebook fans, suggesting high MSM engagement. Social media was perceived to be better than traditional gay media with high quality content being the key to success. 

Nada Chaiyajit presented peer-led “TLBZ Sexperts” from Bangkok, which provided health and social support for TGW via Facebook. While they have successfully reached many young TGW, challenges with delivering services included a lack of human resources and staff capacity, and difficulty building partnerships with local clinics and other services.

Two discussants, Kimberly Green, FHI 360, and Richard Burzynski, UNAIDS, commented that HIV education campaigns via social media have the great potential of reaching young people. Leadership from LGBT communities to bring social media into national-level HIV prevention strategies are crucial due to content expertise . Further, both the discussants and the audience pointed out some challenges with using social media, including building linkages between virtual and physical services, protecting privacy, and monitoring and moderating the conversations held on the media. That said, there is considerable excitement about the strengths of social media, including the ability to engage the target population in a dialogue. 


    The organizers reserve the right to amend the programme.