healthMpowerment (HMP) was an internet HIV/STI intervention for young HIV infected and uninfected black men who have sex with men from North Carolina. Information on HMP covered a range of health and lifestyle topics that are culturally relevant. Health and HIV/STI information is provided through multiple site features including: quizzes, behavioral risk assessments, an “Ask a Doctor” feature, a choose-your-own adventure game and a library of educational articles and videos. Participants can explore areas of interest and then use the forums and Getting Real, which is was an artistic space for users to share creative work, for additional information and feedback from other users.

This is a screenshot of what the front page of healthMpowerment looked like.

For me, it was amazing to see individuals feel comfortable online, especially after the negative feedback we had received about the original functionality and design of the website. The site became a “safe space” for this community to talk and share experiences anonymously with others of a similar background. This illustrated to me the importance of digital space and how it can hold more importance to individuals who face levels of stigma and can only be their true selves online. I was deeply interested in the online community that formed on the site and eventually presented on it at the 2015 Youth, Technology and Health Conference. My presentation entitled, “Online, Digital and Anonymous: Transformative Storytelling Led by HIV+ and HIV- YBMSM/TW” can be found here.

Below are some posters I created that were presented at the International AIDS Conference in 2016 on healthMpowerment.