Called ESTICOM (European Surveys and Trainings to Improve MSM Community Health) the partnership will deliver on three inter-linked projects over three years from August 2016 to August 2019.
Sigma and a range of partners has been funded as part of the European Commission Health Programme 2014-2020 to deliver evidence about the sexual health of gay men, bisexual men and other MSM across Europe.
The 3 main projects are:
- A pan-European online survey of MSM that will be known as EMIS 2017.
- A pan-European online survey about knowledge, attitudes, practices and training needs of community health workers (CHW) who provide health-related services and support for MSM in EU countries (European Community Health Worker Online Survey – ECHOES).
- Development and piloting of a training programme for MSM-focused community health workersintended to be adaptable for all EU countries.
The overall aim of EMIS 2017 is to generate data useful for the planning of HIV and STI prevention and care programmes and the monitoring of national progress in this area (by comparing with the results of previous surveys). The survey seeks to describe the level and distribution of HIV transmission risk and precautionary behaviours; related HIV prevention needs; and to assess self-reported STI testing behaviours, testing performance and STI diagnoses, including viral hepatitis. At a country level, the survey will generate data for understanding the needs of populations and directing prevention programmes. At the international level, patterns of policy, service and cultural responses can be examined for their impact on epidemic spread and containment, providing knowledge beyond the grasp of any one country.
EMIS 2017 was live and collecting data from gay, bisexual, and other MSM in 50 countries between 18 October 2017 and 31 January 2018. The online questionnaire was available simultaneously in 33 languages – PDFs of all the language-versions of the questionnaire are available here. About 137,000 MSM in our 50 target countries took part and submitted their answers including 100,000 in the European Union, more than 6,000 in EFTA countries, and about 7,000 in countries in the EU Enlargement Area or the European Neighbourhood Policy. Also recruited 6,000 MSM in Russia, 6,000 in Canada and on behalf of WHO (Western Pacific Region), 3,500 in the Philippines.
Sigma Research is a research group specialising in the social, behavioural and policy aspects of HIV and sexual health. It is part of the Faculty of Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
More about research – official presentation: