Effects of the 2015 « Break the chains » campaign on the gay community and on the MSM individuals - Post-campaign survey"
The intervention "BREAK THE CHAINS" (BTC) is an annual campaign that has been implemented by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) and the Swiss Aids federation since 2012. It is part of the FOPH's urgent action plan intended for men who have sex with men (MSM). Implementation and communication strategies have constantly evolved since 2012 based on the experience gained during each edition and based on a previous evaluation work. Stakeholders postulate a long term effect as this yearly campaign has been planned for 5 years from the very beginning.
The core objectives of the BTC campaigns however remain unchanged and are:
- To interrupt the chains of HIV transmission
- To reduce the "community viral load".
To reach these goals, the BTC campaign invites MSM to:
- PHASE 1: Avoid any risk of HIV transmission during a one-month period (in April) and until
they get tested for HIV.
- PHASE 2: Get tested for HIV infection in May and benefit from counselling +/- orientation
for care according to their situation. Insofar as possible, get tested with their sexual
In doing so, MSM who got infected by HIV before April 2015 without knowing it, should have, in May, their HIV infection in a biological stage where it is detectable with the current available HIV tests.
The campaign team developed a short self-assessment tool, called Risiko-check, which is a webbased questionnaire allowing MSM to identify their risk profile.
A realist evaluation approach has been used to evaluate the BTC 2015 campaign effects on gay community and on MSM individuals. As defined by Tilley and Pawson in 1997, a realist evaluation approach aims at taking into account the contextual conditions that make interventions effective therefore trying to answer the question “for whom does this intervention works, to what extent, and how?”.
The proposed design for this realist evaluation is a pre-post design. Data have been collected during three time phases:
1) Before the campaign using a) the 2014 Gaysurvey questionnaire which contained a BTC module, and b) data from the VCT centers using the BerDa assessment tool.
2) In May 2015, during BTC PHASE 2, when participating MSM are expected to get HIV tested, using data from the VCT centers using the BerDa assessment tool.
3) In summer 2015 after the end of the BTC 2015 campaign, using a dedicated online survey (Post-BTC-survey) with the same recruitment channels as the 2014 Gaysurvey.
Socio-demographic variables and other potentially confounding and interaction variables will be collected too. The dataset proposed below corresponds solely to the Post-BTC-survey.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
Given the difficulty to recruit a sufficient number of MSM through general population surveys, and the absence of a valid sampling frame allowing us to draw a random sample of the target population, both Internet surveys (Gaysurvey 2014 and Post-BTC-survey) rely on a self-selected sample of MSM living in Switzerland. The anonymous self-administered questionnaires were hosted on a website which URL could be accessed through advertisement banners posted on various websites targeting MSM and gay people. The questionnaires were proposed in French and German.
V2.1: Edited, anonymous dataset for public dissemination
Men who have sex with men in Switzerland
Producers and sponsors
Questionnaire design, data collection, processing, analysis
Federal Office of Public Health
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Center for Primary Care and Public Health (Unisanté), University of Lausanne, Switzerland
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Lociciro S. and Bize R., "Effects of the 2015 « Break the Chains » campaign on the gay community and on the MSM individuals - Post-campaign survey", Dec. 2015. Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland. Version 1.0 of the licensed dataset (Dec 2015), provided by the IUMSP Research Data Repository. DOI:10.16909/DATASET/4
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DDI Document ID
Questionnaire design, data collection, processing, analysis