On 5-6th of September 2016 the kick off meeting for a new EU funded project on men who have sex with men (MSM) took place in Luxembourg. Based on the EMIS survey in 2010, a new EMIS survey addressing MSM will be part of the project. On top of that community health workers are at focus. A survey will  focus on knowledge and attitudes of community health workers who work with MSM and a training programme will be developed in order to improve  access and quality of prevention, diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, STI and viral hepatitis and health care services for MSM. The project will be coordinated by the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin.

The project consists of 3 Objectives. Objective 1 is aimed to review and assess sexual health of MSM, epidemiological and behavioral situation including new lifestyle factors, policy environment including legal and structural barriers and review of evidence for conducting a second generation behavioural survey. This Objective is coordinated by Sigma Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in association with the Robert Koch Institute.

The purpose of objective 2 is to assess and define the knowledge, attitudes and practices of community health workers providing health services to MSM by performing a survey among community based health workers (CHW).  Objective 2 is coordinated by Centre d'Estudis Epidemiològics sobre les ITS i Sida de Catalunya (CEEISCAT). Aids Action Europe will lead Working Package 7 - Promotion and execution of CHW survey in cooperation with LSHTM. The task of WP7 is to ensure maximum visibility and outreach to a target group, by conducting and disseminating the CHW survey. Apart from CEEISCAT and AIDS Action Europe, the University of Brighton and EATG are leading work packages. This is a very new approach since there has never been a study addressed to CHW.

Objective 3 is aimed to develop training packages for community health workers. The CHW training package will contribute to improve access and quality of prevention, tailored strategies for counselling, early diagnosis of HIV/AIDs, STI and viral hepatitis, including periodical testing and responsive health services for MSM and people living with HIV/AIDS in the European Union. Objective 3 is led by Deutsche AIDS Hilfe (DAH) in cooperation with the Terrence Higgins Trust from the UK

The Project is an important opportunity to strengthen community response und raise awareness about the persisting legal, structural, political and social barriers hindering a more effective response to the syndemics of HIV, hepatitis viruses B and C, and other STI among MSM.