Web-based MSM survey going on now

This news comes by way of PANCAP.

“The first of its kind in the Caribbean, CARIMIS: Caribbean Men Internet Survey 2011 is happening all over the Caribbean. It is the largest ever Caribbean survey of gay men, transgender, bisexual men and other men who are attracted to men. It is an initiative of the UNAIDS Caribbean Regional Support Team.

“It asks about relationships, sex life, risks and precautions and use of health services. One of the goals is to see whether gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have access to HIV testing and prevention.

In the Caribbean, HIV prevalence among the MSM population ranges from 6.7 percent in Suriname to 32 percent in Jamaica. This is compared to an estimated adult prevalence in the region of one percent. The need to respond meaningfully to the MSM community in the Caribbean is obvious and urgent yet little is known about this key population.

“With this in mind, the CARIMIS seeks to collect information about the lives of MSM throughout the English, French, Spanish and Dutch-speaking Caribbean over a three month period starting from October 2011. The internet based survey is anonymous and the questionnaire takes about 20 minutes to complete. It aims to assess behavioural risks among Caribbean MSM while reaching populations who are inaccessible through more traditional sampling methods.

“CARIMIS offers a new approach to collecting Caribbean-wide but country-specific HIV behavioural risk data that may complement current traditional national and regional MSM studies. This will enable UNAIDS as well as our HIV collaborating partners to better estimate the magnitude of the HIV epidemic among Caribbean MSM,” said research associate, Sylette Henry-Buckmire.

“It is expected that the internet interface will attract more honest responses and therefore offer a better understanding of HIV infection dynamics within the Caribbean MSM community. Also successful implementation of this web-based MSM survey will inform similar studies for other highly stigmatized groups such as commercial sex workers.”

For further information on CARIMIS please contact Dr. Michel de Groulard at degroulardm@unaids.org


The Interdisciplinary Health Communication blog from the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication recently posted a blog about the US’s Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention’s new HIV outreach efforts through comic books (Take That, Evildoers! The CDC Fights HIV With Comics). In an attempt to reach 15- to 24-year-olds with HIV prevention information, the CDC awarded funding to a comic book maker to create digital comics that resonate with that audience. The hope is that such an effort will jump-start more health communication interventions for that age group.

This got me thinking about what innovate projects are being done across the region to reach that age group, since the HIV rate among this age group has been rising.When an organization or government agency plan a communication strategy, do they segment their population, or is the approach more of general HIV prevention information? If money was of no concern, what would you like to see being done to reach youths with HIV/STD behavior change information?