The Use and Impact of Online Outreach Services Among Gay Men in Ontario

url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKCcWFhWR5Y

Brennan, D.J.; Lachowsky, N.J.; Souleymanov, R.; and Malfitano, C. (2014, October). The Use and Impact of Online Outreach Services Among Gay Men in Ontario. Presented at the Gay Men's Health Summit, Vancouver, Canada. Gay men are “early adopters” of technology and increasingly using the Internet to connect for social, educational, and sexual purposes. Some AIDS Service Organizations (ASOs) deliver online outreach via sociosexual Internet sites and mobile-apps. Our objective was to investigate gay men’s experiences and self-perceived impacts of online outreach. Gay men aged 16 or older were recruited from Internet sites, mobile-apps, and ASOs across Ontario to complete a 15-minute anonymous online questionnaire. Demographic factors associated with encountering online outreach were assessed using backward stepwise multivariable logistic regression (p<0.05 significant). Only 8.2% (n=151/1830) of men had encountered online outreach. Encountering online outreach did not differ by age, education, sexual orientation or most race/ethnicities (except Aboriginal men were more likely to encounter services compared with White men: AOR=3.07 [1.19,7.93]). Men who experienced online outreach felt the service provider was friendly (92.2%), easy to understand (87.1%), helpful (82.7%), prompt (74.8%), and knowledgeable (68.7%). Few men felt the service provider was annoying (9.2%) or the interaction with the provider was confusing (12.7%). Half of men felt they received a useful referral (50%). As a result of their last online outreach encounter, men reported better understanding of (59.9%) and comfort with (51.0%) their sexual risk; increased knowledge (48.3%); feeling less anxious (34.7%), better connected (31.3%) and more empowered (27.2%); using condoms more frequently (32.7%) and effectively (23.8%); getting tested for HIV (29.3%) or STIs (28.6%); asking their partners’ HIV statuses (25.2%); and sero-sorting (17.7%). Few men reported no changes (10.2%) and no interest in using these services again (12.6%). Most men who didn’t use online outreach said they didn’t need these services (68.0%) or were unaware of them (31.5%). Online outreach services have low coverage currently, but are a promising health promotion strategy to engage gay men in health education and services.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKCcWFhWR5Y

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Community-Based Research Centre (CBRC) promotes the health of gay men through research and intervention development. We are inclusive of bisexual and queer men (cis and trans) and Two Spirit people.
The Use and Impact of Online Outreach Services Among Gay Men in Ontario
The Use and Impact of Online Outreach Services Among Gay Men in Ontario
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