What Is Mpowerment?
The Mpowerment Project is a community-level HIV prevention program designed to address the needs of young gay and bisexual men. The intervention combines social, behavioral, and biomedical approaches that help to shape a healthy community and build positive social connections. Teams of Gay Men go to locations frequented by their Same Gender Loving peers to promote and discuss safer sex, distribute informational literature on HIV risk reduction, along with flyers on upcoming events and distribute free condoms and lube. Skills-building exercises are conducted so men can practice safer sex negotiation, correct condom use and get educated on PrEP & PEP. The project draws on the theory of diffusion of innovations, which suggests that people are most likely to adopt new behaviors that have already been accepted by others who are similar to them and whom they respect.
Mpowerment Core Elements
- Recruiting a core group of young gay men to design and carry out project activities
- Establishing a project space where many of the project activities can be held
- Conducting entertaining, venue-based (e.g., bars, community events) outreach by teams of young gay men
- Sponsoring social events to promote community-building among young gay men
- Convening peer-led, one-time discussion groups
- Conducting a publicity campaign about the project within the community