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An Integrated Technology-Based ‘Status-Neutral’ Approach to Engage YMSM/YTGW in the Prevention and Care Continuum in North and South Carolina

 

Ending the HIV Epidemic: Integrated Technology is a program across both North Carolina (with a focus on Mecklenburg County) and South Carolina. Our long-term goal is to create a novel, “status-neutral” integrated-strategy to engage young men who have sex with men and transgender women (age 16-24) in the HIV prevention and care continuum and to support both ART and PrEP uptake and adherence. This planning grant will allow us to develop and beta test the systems to enact such a strategy among those most at risk within the unified Carolinas. 

Aim 1: Design a unified stigma-informed recruitment campaign aimed at reducing intersectional stigma at the individual, provider and community level to engage YMSM/YTW to participate in the project.

Aim 2: Develop a full telehealth protocol for engagement in PrEP care. The protocol will include collection of home-based samples, pharmacy-delivered medications and adherence support delivered through a comprehensive app-based platform that includes in-app text messaging via a centrally-located counselor.

Aim 3: Refine our technology-based platform stigma mitigation intervention to support a virtual cohort of YMSM/YTW and provide ongoing engagement through routine surveys and provision of HIV/STI testing kits.

 

Interested in sharing your thoughts on HIV prevention in the Carolinas? Our team at UNC wants to hear from you! We are asking young men and trans women to participate in an online group discussion to help us design a plan to end the epidemic. All participants will be paid $50 for their time in the group discussion. For more info and to see if you are eligible – click here!

 

Principal Investigator: Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH

Project Manager: Lydia Ahlum Hanson, MPH, MSW