Using new technologies and social media for the improvement of testing services for MSM and transgender populations in Hong Kong and Yogyakarta. In many countries in Asia conventional messaging around HIV testing does not reach men-who-have-sex-with men (MSM) and transgender populations. APCOM’s Test BKK-campaign, using new media and technologies, resulted in an increase of 38% in the research population group getting tested, a clear indication that the campaign, communication and data collection strategies worked. Although new media technologies can be used successfully to scale up HIV testing among MSM, unfortunately, cultural, social and local contingencies do not allow for an easy adoption in other countries. Tailoring is needed. To do so, APCOM would like to broaden the concept of campaigning, research, data collection and testing to other cities. In this programme APCOM will do so in China (Hong Kong) and Indonesia (Yogyakarta). The programme will start with a (social) media analysis in the proposed cities. APCOM will select the 'best' media to target the groups and use a tailored HIV testing approach for the context. With the programme APCOM will determine if the culturally sensitive and contextually best possible media, research and data collection approach actually renders to more testing cases. Through the programme APCOM will compare success factors across locations, which will provide valuable information for future scaling up.
Hong Kong, Yogyakarta
With the programme APCOM aims to measure if the culturally sensitive and contextually best possible/appropriate (social) media approaches actually render into more HIV testing cases among the most at risk populations (MSM and transgender populations).
The contexts of Hong Kong and Yogyakarta are quite different but with one alarming similarity: the rapid increase of HIV infections among MSM and transgender populations.
Hong Kong is a special administrative region in China with a population of 7 million people. In 2014 there were 750 new HIV/AIDS positive cases identified, compared with 317 cases in 2004. While the number of HIV cases transmitted by heterosexual contacts has remained fairly consistent in the past decade, HIV cases among MSM have risen substantially, now making up three quarters of all new infections. In addition, it is important to note the trend of the Hong Kong epidemic which has spread to the lower age group of the previous age groups centred on 30-50 year olds.
The HIV prevalence among MSM in Yogyakarta (Central Java) increased from from 7.0% in 2009 to 20.3% in 2012. Yogyakarta's position as both a tourism destination and the site of numerous universities has always attracted a lot of (young) people (including young MSM and Waria) for vacation purposes or to pursue higher education. With its strong traditional culture, it makes it a difficult and challenging place to work on MSM and waria issues, but APCOM has two strong CBO partners in the city which have proven to be effective and capable in reaching out to and engaging the MSM and waria communities in HIV programmes. Taking into account the considerable number of social media users in Indonesia (estimated on 75 million people in 2015 and growing each year with another 10! million people), social media interventions, campaigns and programming seems increasingly viable when it comes to reaching out to MSM and waria in Indonesia.