Adam's Love - Thai Red Cross addressing the high rates of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM)
Marginalized populations are typically more vulnerable to disease because they often do not have full and equal political, economic, social and cultural rights. For example, individuals who are denied the right to freedom of association, access to information and access to proper medical care due to cultural and legal prejudices are at a higher risk of acquiring an illness. This is especially true for persons with, or at a risk of acquiring, HIV/AIDS due to the stigma attached to the disease.
Recognizing this issue, and discovering that the rate of HIV infection amongst MSM in Thailand was increasing, the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre reached out to young MSM on HIV prevention and testing issues. Thus, the Adam’s Love campaign was launched in 2011. Adam’s Love is an online, one-stop source for safe sex, HIV/AIDS information, community support and lifestyle for all MSM in Thailand and in ASEAN. The anonymous nature of the internet provides a safe space for men to learn how to better protect themselves from HIV/AIDS and to feel as though they are part of a normal and healthy community without the threat of violence and/or social exclusion.
“Adam’s Love”, an on-line communication and social media campaign via www.adamslove.org organized by the Thai Red Cross AIDS Research Centre. The edutainment website aims to encourage MSM in Thailand to adopt safer sexual practices and get HIV tested every 3 months. Nearly 3 in 10 MSM in Bangkok (29.1%) are HIV-infected due to ignorance of the importance of health checks. The first on-line campaign in ASEAN aims to use social media channels to reach out to MSM and encourage them to adopt preventive health practices.
The website www.adamslove.org contains:
- Adam’s Love Campaign – Love test
- Entertainment / Fashion / Photography / Art
- Online Counseling Room
- Pilot Project with Videos from Doctors
- Public Relations & Communication – TVC, Poster, Advertisement
- Social Media – Facebook and Twitter
By 2013, Adam’s Love has been very active in scaling up HIV testing among MSM. Statistics show that 25% of MSM who are tested at the Anonymous Clinic are aware of the project or have been convinced to have HIV testing because of the project outreach, and the website has had more than 400,000 visitors. In addition to establishing an innovative online platform, Adam’s Love establishes a resource to link MSM to friendly healthcare and support services at the Anonymous Clinic without any stigma and discrimination. Adam’s Love project is expanded to increase HIV/STI testing and awareness among MSM in 2013 with Adam’s Love ‘We Deserve It’ campaign.”
The ‘We Deserve It’ campaign focuses on empowering MSM and celebrating gender and sexual diversity in Thailand. “We Deserve It” highlights that MSM deserve love, affection, respect, a relationship, a partner, safe sex and a healthy lifestyle.