Testing HIV-Prevention Messages for Black and Latino MSM

Dates: 2012-2015

Geographic Scope: Nationwide

Client(s): CDC - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Services: Health Communication, Health Information Technology, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: HIV & Infectious Diseases, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Health

HIV incidence among Black and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) in the US continues to be high. For 30 years, condoms have been the only effective physical intervention for reducing HIV infection risk, especially for sexually-active MSM. However, new information about the efficacy of new and existing HIV prevention options is emerging, including data on pre- and post-exposure chemoprophylaxis, condom effectiveness, HIV sero-adaptive behaviors, and adherence to HIV drug therapy. Given this information and the availability of multiple prevention options, there is a need to understand the most appropriate messages for maximizing HIV risk reduction among MSM.

CDC contracted with JSI to conduct a cross-sectional study to assess the efficacy of brief informational messages regarding HIV prevention options. A secondary goal was to determine whether message effectiveness is moderated by race/ethnicity or other demographic variables.

The study, known as Messages4Men: Exploring New Health Information for Our Communities, tested HIV prevention messages with nearly 1,000 MSM Black and Latino MSM, including those who were HIV positive, high-risk HIV negative, and low-risk HIV negative. Pilot testing was conducted with 90 additional MSM prior to the study through qualitative interviews and focus groups with the same target populations. JSI worked with three community-based organizations to recruit participants and implement the study in their localities. These organizations included Center on Halsted (Chicago, IL), Kansas City CARE Clinic (Kansas City, MO), and Latinos Salud (Ft. Lauderdale, FL).


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