'Adam's Love: for men who love men', an online communication campaign through an edutainment website to promote HIV testing among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Thailand
C. Nitpolprasert1, T. Anand1, J. Ananworanich1,2,3, P. Phanuphak1,2, W. Sathianthammawit4, C. Pakam4, N. Phanuphak1,3
1The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre, Bangkok, Thailand, 2The HIV Netherlands Australia Thailand Research Collaboration, Bangkok, Thailand, 3South East Asia Research Collaboration with Hawaii (SEARCH), Bangkok, Thailand, 4The Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre, MSM Sexual Health Clinic, Bangkok, Thailand
Background: Nearly 3 in 10 MSM in Bangkok are HIV-positive. In response, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre launched “Adam's Love”, an online communication campaign centered around an edutainment website (www.adamslove.org). The website and associated social media aims to encourage MSM in Thailand to adopt safer sexual practices and get HIV tested every three months.
Methods: Launched in September 2011, adamslove.org offers 60% HIV/STI education and 40% entertainment in English and Thai. The campaign features Thai celebrities as role models, fashion photography designed to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and testing, a preventive approach regarding safer sex practices, a membership club program offering incentives for three-monthly HIV testing, over 80 expert advice videos, and integrated social media and web message boards for health advice. The campaign is linked with the Anonymous Clinic at the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre to make HIV testing accessible.
Results: Between September 2011 to January 2012, Adam's Love gained huge media coverage worth 418,900 US Dollars, the website engaged 85,900 visitors worldwide with 378,000 page views measuring with an average visit duration of 4.6 minutes per visitor. YouTube videos gained 68,100 views. The 13-to-24 year age group accounted for 32.5% of the audience of mostly males users (81.1%). The three top-rated videos included oral sex advice, anal sex risks and three simple steps for HIV testing. Online website surveys showed willingness that 43.1% of Thai MSM were willing to get HIV tested within 3 - 6 months. Of approximately 4,800 MSM clients visiting the Anonymous Clinic, 25% accessed HIV/STI testing because of Adam's Love and 162 MSM enrolled in a quarterly testing program.
Conclusions: The Adam's Love online communication campaign has demonstrated its feasibility in engaging MSM in HIV/AIDS education. Online outreach and social media strategies can increase the uptake of HIV/STI testing and awareness among MSM in Bangkok.