EMIS-2017 was funded by the European Commission Health Programme 2014–2020 as part of ESTICOM (European Surveys and Trainings to Improve MSM Community Health). ESTICOM was co-ordinated by Robert Koch Institute (RKI, Berlin) and consisted of three inter-linked projects delivered over three years from August 2016 to August 2019.

EMIS-2017 was undertaken by Sigma Research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in association with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Berlin. EMIS-2017 core team: Axel J. Schmidt, Ford Hickson, David Reid, and Peter Weatherburn @ LSHTM and Ulrich Marcus and Susanne B. Schink @ RKI.

The overall aim of EMIS-2017 was to generate data useful for the planning of HIV and STI prevention and care programmes and the monitoring of national progress in this area (by comparing with the results of the 2010 survey). The survey sought to describe the level and distribution of HIV transmission risk and precautionary behaviours; related HIV prevention needs; and to assess self-reported STI testing behaviours, testing performance and STI diagnoses, including viral hepatitis. At a country level, the survey generated data for understanding the needs of populations and directing prevention programmes. At the international level, patterns of policy, service and cultural responses were examined for their impact on epidemic spread and containment, providing knowledge beyond the grasp of any one country.

EMIS-2017 was live and collecting data from gay, bisexual, and other MSM in 50 countries between 18 October 2017 and 31 January 2018. The online questionnaire was available simultaneously in 33 languages – PDFs of all the language-versions of the questionnaire are available here. About 137,000 MSM in our 50 target countries took part and submitted their answers including 100,000 in the European Union, more than 6,000 in EFTA countries, and about 7,000 in countries in the EU Enlargement Area or the European Neighbourhood Policy. We also recruited 6,000 MSM in Russia, 6,000 in Canada and on behalf of WHO, 3,500 in the Philippines.

Apart from the products listed above, we merged 2010 and 2017 data and prepared an EMIS Variable Manual (covering EMIS-2017 as well as the combined data set) for scientists around the world who work with the data. EMIS-2017 is owned by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Request for access to national or international EMIS-2010/2017 data should be addressed at coordinator@emis-project.eu, using the embedded data request form.

The EMIS Editorial Board comprises: Peter Weatherburn (Principal Investigator EMIS-2017, LSHTM), Axel J. Schmidt (EMIS co-ordinator, LSHTM), Ford Hickson (LSHTM), Ulrich Marcus (RKI), Rigmor C. Berg (Norwegian Institute of Public Health), Kai J. Jonas (Maastricht University), Sladjana Baros (Institute of Public Health of Serbia), Michal Pitoňák (National Institute of Mental Health, Czechia), and Teymur Noori (ECDC).

The Latin American Internet Survey (LAMIS), started off as part of EMIS-2017, but was separated from EMIS in order to be better adapted to the regional context. LAMIS broadly used the same questionnaire and finished data collection on 12 May 2018. It was the first multi-country survey for gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) in Latin America. It was implemented by researchers from Right PLUS*, a coalition of researchers from Latin America, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands, with support from the EMIS team. EMIS and LAMIS required a great deal of international cooperation and relied on the support of national stakeholders to aid local recruitment. Through this cooperation comparable data are now available for the first time for more than 60 countries across 4 continents.

LAMIS contributions: CEEISCAT, Spain (Jordi Casabona Barbara, Percy Fernández Dávila): LAMIS network and local recruitment coordination, economic and legal aspects of hosting the database. CIISSS, Peru (Carlos F. Cáceres, E. Michael Reyes): LAMIS Report for Latin America. NUDHES, Brazil (Maria Amelia de Sousa Mascena Veras, Daniel Barros): study website and its graphic design. LSHTM, United Kingdom (Sigma Research: Axel J. Schmidt, Ford Hickson, David Reid, Peter Weatherburn): questionnaire design, support with survey software and monitoring of recruitment, graphic arts of banners for promotion, data cleaning and labelling, error handling, variable manual, templates for national and community reports, collaboration with UNAIDS. Robert Koch Institute, Germany (Ulrich Marcus): negotiations with web pages/apps for free promotion of LAMIS and coordination of central recruitment.