Many of the outreach effort that promotes STI, HIV, and AIDS awareness have used different media to get their messages across. Internet, particularly social media, has outgrown other forms of communication as the fastest way to readily exchange available and accessible information and ideas. However the downside of this is that it is also the medium of choice for sexual negotiations or “hooking up” among casual partners, unguarded minors and sexually active youth engaging in practices that leads them to being at risk of or vulnerable to STI or HIV infection.
AIDS Society of the Philippines (ASP) takes part by expanding outreach to the discreet population of males having sex with males (MSM) in the country emphasizing on health information and HIV education, motivating health-seeking behaviour towards accessing voluntary HIV counselling and testing (VCT).
In response to the use of the internet as a venue to hook up and have sex, ASP, with support from the Department of Health and the Global Fund, contracted online peer educators that succeeded in their approach to assimilate in chat sites and online groups gaining an average of at least 30 VCT clients in a month referred to social hygiene clinics and the ASP off-site VCT clinic conducted every first Friday and third Saturday of the month. This online peer education approach is still in its infancy but it accords huge potentials for social awareness, reaching more and more people in the viral media and confronting hidden population in Facebook and other sprouting online groups.