Fenway Health and the Multicultural AIDS Coalition are looking to recruit 330 black men who have sex with men (MSM) for a study that seeks to better understand their sexual health and determine effective HIV prevention strategies. Advertisement
Boston is one of six cities participating in "Project Saving Ourselves"; the others are New York, Washington, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It is the first HIV prevention study of its size to focus exclusively on the black MSM community, said Ben Perkins, Project SOS director at the Fenway Institute, Fenway Health's research division. "In terms of scale, there hasn't been anything quite like it," he said.
Study researchers want to know more about black male sexual networks, since data show many black MSM have other black sexual partners. As part of that effort, investigators plan to ask the 330 participants to recruit an additional 70 MSM from their social networks. Another goal is learn how to increase HIV testing rates and decrease rates of untreated STDs among black MSM.
The final question posed by the study is how to get black MSM who are HIV-positive into care earlier. Perkins said HIV-infected participants will be paired with "peer navigators" who serve "essentially like a buddy who works with the individual to get them into care services."
For more information on Project SOS, telephone 877-767-5434.
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