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Linking YMSM to adequate care through a multi-level tailored webapp intervention


Get Connected logoGet Connected is a two-arm prospective randomized controlled trial (RCT) in Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Houston. Participants randomized to the control condition were directed to a website that included information on HIV prevention services via the testing site locator. Participants randomized to the intervention condition received tailored online content specific to their demographic characteristics (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, location, and relationship status), HIV/STI risk behaviors (e.g., HIV/STI testing history; substance use; communication with partners regarding status) and sociocultural context (e.g., homelessness, incarceration). We also recruited, enrolled, and trained 10-15 mystery shoppers per city to conduct a mystery shopper assessment. Two mystery shoppers visited each testing site separately and complete a standardized assessment of their visit. Site directors from 10 randomly selected testing sites in each city were interviewed to assess sites’ satisfaction with the biannual site reports that reflect mystery shopper and RCT participant ratings of their site.

Principal Investigators:
José Bauermeister, PhD, MPH | University of Pennsylvania
Rob Stephenson, PhD, MSc, MA | University of Michigan Number: NCT03132415

Mystery shoppers were enrolled for approximately six months, or the time it took them to complete approximately ten site visits.

Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) participating in the RCT were enrolled for 12 months.

Total RCT study sample size is 360 with the aim of maintaining a randomized sample of approximately 320 online-recruited and retained YMSM for 12 months. After consent and completion of the baseline survey, YMSM are randomized to either the intervention (n=180) or control (n=180) condition.

RCT Inclusion Criteria:

  • Assigned male sex at birth and currently identifies as male
  • Aged 15 to 24 years (inclusive) at time of screening
  • Self-report as HIV-negative or sero-status unaware
  • Not on PrEP at time of enrollment
  • Reside in Atlanta, Houston, or Philadelphia
  • Access to internet
  • View full eligibility and exclusion criteria available on
  1. To test the efficacy of an e-Health intervention for increasing HIV-negative or HIV-unknown YMSM’s successful uptake of HIV prevention services (e.g., routine HIV/STI testing) and PrEP awareness and willingness, as compared to the attention-control condition over a 12-month period.
  2. To examine the quality of HIV test counseling and PrEP-related referrals to YMSM within local HIV/STI testing sites in 3 cities (Atlanta, Houston, and Philadelphia) through the use of mystery shoppers.
  3. Qualitatively assess testing sites’ satisfaction with the biannual site reports and their improvements in service delivery when working with YMSM across the three regions.


Click the image or title to view full-sized infographic.

Testing the Testers: How Mystery Shoppers Can Improve HIV Prevention Services

Get Connected Mystery Shoppers Infographic


Coming soon!

AIDS Impact 2019


















Research for Prevention (R4P) 2018