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An evaluation of peer-led STD/HIV prevention work in a public sex environment.

French R, Power R, Mitchell S

  • Journal AIDS care

  • Published 30 Jun 2000

  • Volume 12

  • ISSUE 2

  • Pagination 225-34

  • DOI 10.1080/09540120050001913


This paper describes an independent evaluation of a peer-led STD/HIV prevention intervention conducted by Gay Men Fighting AIDS (GMFA) in a public sex environment (PSE). A variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods were employed to collect data on the intervention process as well as its outcomes. The main aim of the intervention was the distribution of condoms and safer sex literature to PSE users. During a five-month period, over 100,000 condoms and 2,200 safer sex information packs were distributed by GMFA volunteers to the PSE users. Condom provision was identified as the most needed health promotion activity in PSEs in a survey of gay and bisexual men (n = 688) conducted by the evaluators. Data collected showed that condoms provided by GMFA, as well as from other sources, were being used in the PSE. The peer-led focus of the intervention was acceptable to the PSE users. In addition, high levels of commitment and input from the volunteers contributed considerable added value to the intervention. The evaluation found that GMFA was successful in reaching the target population and addressing their needs and demands.