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Producing animations to educate MSM and MSW to fashion safe sex practices and address low perceptions of personal risk
conference contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by Christopher Walsh
This project will produce animations in order to increase understandings of safe sex practices and address low perceptions of personal risk among two of the most vulnerable groups to HIV infection in Thailand. The animations will be incorporated into a prevention outreach program via Ipods, mobile phones and mobile-based portable devices to men who have sex with men (MSM) in their 'hide-outs', that is, parks, clubs and public toilets and male sex workers (MSW) in sex venues such as brothels, go-go bars and beats. To produce these animations, the project is first researching the sexual practices of MSM and MSW because of the lack of any substantive investigation of their social and sexual networks. This use of technology, informed by social research rather than behavioral studies, offers new possibilities to stem rapidly rising infection rates because it takes into account the diverse MSM and MSW identities. Overall, an estimated one- fifth (21%) of new HIV infections in Thailand occur in men who have unsafe sex with men. This disquieting increase highlights the fact that MSM are not adequately reached through HIV prevention programmes, most likely because little is known about their particular situations, contexts and practices.