nsw health

NSW Health Mandarin-language HIV Testing Campaign

Heterosexually identified men who are having sex with other men particularly those from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds are difficult to reach and engage with, primarily because they are less likely to access sexual health information and services.

They are typically extremely concerned about keeping this aspect of their sexual lives secret and separate from their family, work and community lives. They do not respond to materials designed for gay and bisexual men.

The situation is made more complex and challenging because men from Mandarin-speaking backgrounds are exposed to stigma and discrimination in their migrant communities, with strong cultural expectations to marry and have children.

Find out how we can make things better for your brand. Call us on +61407891136

nsw health


Raise awareness of the importance of HIV testing among Mandarin-speaking heterosexually-identifying men who have sex with other men and persuade them to take a test.

Drive traffic to the Mandarin HIV testing landing page on the NSW Health website.

Make HIV testing among Mandarin-speaking heterosexually-identifying men who are having sex with other men a part of their regular health check-ups.

nsw health
nsw health
nsw health

Research findings

Based on available market research with this target group, our team at Better identified that the primary concerns about contracting HIV are the mental and social impacts, rather than the health implications. These men are very discreet in their sexual behaviour because the terms “gay” or “homosexual” are still perceived negatively among the Chinese community. HIV doesn’t seem like a “death sentence” to them, which suggests there may be some understanding among most in this cohort that HIV is treatable.

The key emotions experienced by this target audience are fear and shame of discrimination – how they would disclose their status and the way this would negatively affect their family, friends, community status and mental health.


  • They must see themselves reflected culturally in the communications.
  • The campaign should address their key emotions of fear and shame of being outed and the negative effects on their mental health by emphasising the benefits of HIV testing – providing peace of mind.
  • Messages about HIV testing should emphasise that testing is discreet and private.
  • Gay stereotypes and explicitly referencing their sexual behaviour should be avoided to lessen the perception of being singled out.
  • Information should be communicated in a comfortable and casual way, while also being official and professional.
nsw health

The solution

The proposed communication strategy is based on a single-minded message: “No one else needs to know. But you do.”

What they need to know:

  • They’re at risk of contracting HIV (just like everyone else).
  • They can get a discreet HIV test anywhere, even away from their neighbourhood.
  • Using a condom and having regular tests gives them the best protection from HIV.
  • Most importantly, they need to know their HIV status.

The final creative looked to engage the target audiences while delivering clarity and understanding through the strategic brand message. The advertising campaign utilised the message that resonated the most with this target audience based on the ad testing that we conducted as part of the project:

“Everyone can be impacted by HIV.”


Find out how we can make things better for your brand. Call us on +61407891136