(European MSM Internet Survey)/Eastern Europe–Central Asia – Extending Internet-Based Health and Behaviour Surveys Aimed at Men who have sex with Men to Eastern European and Central Asian Countries and Strengthening Capacities in Western Balkan Countries


In recent years, there have been efforts to upscale HIV treatment and prevention in the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, including conducting studies among men who have sex with men (MSM). One commonly used method to recruit participants for these studies has been respondent-driven sampling. However, this method failed to recruit the key target group of MSM who have already been diagnosed with HIV, resulting in a serious underestimation of HIV prevalence. A complementary approach for collecting HIV-related health indicators among MSM is the use of large low-threshold online surveys. Here, participants are recruited using advertisements on gay dating apps and gay social networks to report on health outcomes. The underrepresentation of people diagnosed with HIV appeared not to be an issue in such surveys. Therefore, this project aims to facilitate the administration of surveys of this kind to MSM in Eastern European, Central Asian and Western Balkan countries. To reach its target group (MSM), the project collaborates with civil society organisations concerned with HIV prevention and human rights.


Strengthening national surveillance and reporting on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in Eastern European, Central Asian and Western Balkan countries.

In Cooperation with

  • Deutsche Aidshilfe (DAH), Germany
  • Eurasian Coalition on Health, Rights, Gender and Sexual Diversity (ECOM)
  • South Eastern Europe Regional TB and HIV Community Network (SEE RCN)

Thematic priorities

  • Infection prevention and control
  • Marketing authorisation and safety of medicinal products
  • Resolutions and international agreements
  • Strengthening of public health systems
  • Surveillance and reporting



01.01.2023 - 31.03.2024


ca. 105,000 Euro

Partner Countries

  • Albania
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Georgia
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kosovo
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Northern Macedonia
  • Serbia
  • Ukraine

Implementing Institution

Robert Koch Institute


Dr. Ulrich Marcus
Robert Koch-Institut (RKI)
Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Germany
Email: MarcusU@rki.de


  • Research and provision of evidence

    Developing a questionnaire and conducting an online survey on the health and behaviour of MSM; analysing the data and establishing health measures based on the findings.

  • Networking and cooperation

    Building collaboration with national civil society organisations on prevention and support for MSM.

  • Capacity development

    Establishing new data sources for sexual health and behavioural indicators for MSM.