"WHAT CAN SIALON II MEAN FOR US? COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES"
On 24 and 25 Septemper 2014 in Antwerp (Belgium), the SIALON II meeting on results and prevention strategies was held.
The general objective of the meeting was to discuss preliminary SIALON II survey results as a basis for strengthening HIV prevention efforts and to start up a process of reflection on how gay/MSM community may use the scientific results in practice (i.e. valorisation of the Sialon II findings) and may make evidence-based prevention.
The collaborative partners were directly involved in the meeting in order to have input and provide content from the community: THT-Terence Higgin Trust (UK), Skuc Magnus (Slovenia), Arcigay (Italy), Stop SIDA (Spain), HWB-Association Health Without Borders (Bulgaria), Heine & Fiete (Germany), Tolerant Youth Association (Lithuania), Sensoa (Belgium), Accept (Romania), GAT (Portugal), Lambda Warszawa (Poland), Dom Svetla (Slovakia).
At the meeting participated also Irina Dinca (ECDC) and Igor Toskin (WHO).
DAY 1 - Morning
After welcome and introduction of the meeting, WP4, WP6 and WP9 leaders presented preliminary results of SIALON II. Ulrich Markus (RKI - Germany) presented the results of the formative research and some important insights from national german surveys in a prevention perspective, in order to highlight some important issues, for instance on risk perception and behaviour, which do not necessarily translate in testing behaviour, and the role of stigma. Cinta Folch (CEESCAT - Spain) gave an overview of the TLS methodology and Inga Velicko (Public Health Agency - Sweden) presented the preliminary results of the TLS part of the survey. Lorenzo Gios (Crempe -Italy) presented both methodology and prelinary results of the RDS part of the survey.
After a break, Irina Dinca presented the ECDC guidance on a comprehensive approach to the prevention of HIV and other STI among MSM, included the ECDC communication strategy.
DAY 1 - Afternoon
The afternoon was organized with two parallel workshops. This was a key moment for the community representatives: thanks to a long brainstorming and discussion, several issues emerged. General topics were mainly two:
1) How to translate SIALON II into croncrete prevention activities?
2) How do disseminate Sialon II results to communities, media and policy makers in a sustainable way?
NGO and institutional representatives where divided in two groups, according to project methodology and/or to some similarities
• Group 1 - TLS : Germany, Sweden, UK, Belgium, Spain, Portugal (Moderator: Sandra Vanden Eynde - Sensoa, Belgium);
• Group 2 - RDS (plus Estern EU countries with TLS) : Italy, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania, Slovenia, Poland, Bulgaria (Moderator: Barbara Suligoi - ISS, Italy)
The aim was to gather experiences from different countries wich will inform the Prevention Report. The discussion about the topics was guided by some questions:
• Can you describe your experience with the implementation of Sialon prevention activities (condom/lube distribution, "peer to peer" sexual health communication, scratch cards)
• Based on your experience what do you think are feasible prevention activities? (individual level - community settings- broader community etc)
• Which service providers/organizations (NGO, community)/policy makers/media should be informed about SIALON II results? Why/why not?
• Should all results be communicated?
• Who should be responsible for dissemination? How can your organization play a role in dissemination of these results?
• Please share your experience of effective dissemination of project results?
• What would your or your organization need in order to effectively disseminate the results?
DAY 2 - Morning
Since the day before emerged the need to go further with the discussion, on day 2 the work of the two groups continued in parallel sessions. During the plenary a summary of both workhops was presented by the rapporteurs and discussion followed during the plenary session.
Finally, Peter Vickerman (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK) presented his proposal for a mathematical modelling of SIALON II data, and the partners discussed this interesting opportunity to further analyze the project data.
Igor Toskin (WHO) gave an overview of WHO committment on HIV, sexual health and prevention and concluded the meeting.