The European MSM Internet Survey (EMIS) is a joint project of academic, governmental, non-governmental, and online media partners from 35 European (EU and neighbouring) countries to inform interventions for a group highly affected by infections with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs): gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).
A large network was built to create an online questionnaire to find answers to four research questions. Scientists who already had experience with Internet-based surveys for MSM, scientists who so far only had experience with print questionnaires, and activists from community-based NGOs jointly prepared, pre-tested, and ran the survey.
In summer 2010, an online questionnaire was run simultaneously in 25 different languages: Bulgarian (български език), Czech (Čeština), Danish (Dansk), German (Deutsch), Estonian (Eesti keel), Greek (Ελληνικά), English, Spanish (Español), French (Français), Italian (Italiano), Latvian (Latviešu valodam), Lithuanian (Lietuvių kalba), Hungarian (Magyar nyelv), Dutch (Nederlands), Norwegian (Norsk), Polish (Polski), Portuguese (Português), Romanian (Română), Russian (Pусский язык), Slovenian (Slovenščina), Serbian (Srpski), Swedish (Svenska), Finnish (Suomi), Turkish (Türkçe), and Ukrainian (Yкраї́нська мо́ва). Potential respondents were invited through individual messages from online social networks, or through banners on (country-specific) websites.
EMIS was designed to collect self-reported data from MSM across Europe. This data can be used as a comparison for follow-up surveys for behavioural surveillance, but also for cross-sectional analyses – comparing different groups of MSM with different needs, comparing different countries or regions, etc.
EMIS is the first study in which a direct comparison of data on homosexuality, homosexual behaviour, STIs, performance of prevention interventions, homophobia, HIV-related discrimination, and sexual happiness can be undertaken across a range of countries. For some of the participating countries, it will generate the first empirical data on homosexuality.
EMIS results will inform the planning of prevention interventions for MSM by identifying prevention needs commonly unmet across MSM (priority aims), and sub-groups of MSM for whom many prevention needs are also poorly met (priority target groups).