Recommendations from a research consultation to inform the next generation of HIV prevention messaging for men who have sex with men (MSM)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) convened a consultation with experts in communication and HIV behavioral science to identify dimensions of new HIV prevention strategies, discuss implications of these dimensions for messaging, recommend messaging principles, and recommend future research to inform the development of the next generation of HIV prevention messages for men who have sex with men (MSM). Complexity and uncertainty were two recurrent themes that ran throughout the discussion and underlay many of the experts' recommendations. Several issues generated considerable discussion, and the experts agreed on their importance: (1) capitalize on the opportunity to refresh condom use messaging, (2) communicate transparently, (3) segment the population, (4) use message delivery strategies that are not typical for CDC campaigns, and (5) consider a range of outcomes when messaging about new HIV prevention approaches. In consideration of these factors, experts recommended tools that are interactive and flexible to inform and educate MSM about new and emerging risk reduction strategies for HIV prevention.