Gay, bisexual, 2-spirit, straight, queer cis- and trans-gender men of all ages and immigration statuses who have sex with other men (MSM) are increasingly using the Internet to seek social and sexual relationships. Research has demonstrated increased risk for HIV transmission by men seeking partners online, but also the effectiveness of online interventions to reduce these risks. In particular, these methods are effective in connecting with traditionally hard to reach MSM who do not or cannot access common in-person outreach services at bars or bathhouses (e.g. men in rural areas, men who aren’t out, and young men not of age).
Currently, there is considerably little comprehensive online outreach for MSM in Ontario. Without an effective online presence, public health agencies and AIDS service organizations are missing a growing opportunity to connect online with MSM to prevent further HIV infections. This project has identified strategies to enhance effective outreach services for MSM in Ontario, and promoting the integration of current evidence into existing and emerging policies and programs, as well as providing rationale and support for the expansion of effective online outreach with MSM in Ontario by identifying approaches to address current barriers and challenges. This research supports the delivery of broadly available, accessible, culturally competent, and comprehensive online outreach to MSM, that enhances their sexual wellbeing and decreases the risk of HIV transmission.
The study included interviews with AIDS Service organizations, public health officials and community based programs about their efforts at online outreach. An online survey asked MSM about their online use and experiences with sexual health promotion via websites and mobile apps.