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HealthMpowerment (HMP) is an app-delivered intervention designed with and for young, Black and Latinx gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and transgender women. The intervention aims to improve HIV prevention and care by providing a platform where participants can find social support, build community, and engage with issues that matter to them. The app includes educational information on a range of health and lifestyle topics, delivered in a variety of formats (e.g. articles, quizzes, activities). HIV testing, prevention, and care resources are provided through an “Ask the Expert” feature hosted by a health navigator and board-certified infectious disease physician. The HMP approach strives to amplify resilience among participants by bringing diverse people together in dialogue as a critical step toward change.




Learn more about the last iteration of HealthMpowerment here.

Eligibility Criteria: View eligibility criteria here on the website

Study Team: Aimee Rochelle, MPH
Principal Investigators: Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH (m-PI);  Kate Muessig, PhD; José Bauermeister, MPH, PhD 


Join the HMP team As A Content Creator!

Are you comfortable talking about sex, discrimination, and stigma? Want to empower others to do the same? Earn $17/hour for your time!


The HealthMpowerment Youth Advisory Board (YAB) is an integral part of the HMP team and is open to people across the U.S. who are committed to the health and wellness of LGBTQ+ youth and young adults.

The Advisory Board contributes to all aspects of the HMP platform, study design, and app content. They also moderate forums on the HMP app to encourage users to engage in conversations about what matters to them – especially when it comes to topics that might otherwise be hard to talk about such as racism, gender identity, sex and sexuality, and HIV. Being part of the YAB provides opportunities for personal and professional growth like reflecting on life experiences through writing and dialogue with peers; contributing to future data analysis and results reporting from the HMP study; and exploring career paths in health, healthcare, and research.

Read about our current and past YAB members below and click here if you’re interest in learning more about joining the HMP YAB!


David Collins

Bio coming soon!

Joshua Espada

Hello there! My name is Joshua Espada and I am a Queer Rican living in New York City. I use he/him pronouns and they/them pronouns interchangeably. A lot of my background has been centered around public health research and policy both here in NYC and abroad, specifically in Cairo, Egypt and Amman, Jordan. Abroad, I was doing research on public health policy concerning migrants/refugees within the Middle East and how to make health care units more equitable and better tailored for women and children in rural areas. Here at home, I’ve also done more on-the-ground work like tenant and housing rights and even helping out in needle exchanges in order to increase harm reduction in underserved populations. Currently, I am a Case Manager at a queer health clinic helping queer and or low income patients navigate HIV prevention/treatment, gender affirming surgery, and other health related services.


Abraham Johnson

Abraham Johnson is a public health educator and HIV/AIDS Advocate whose experience in the community health arena spans 6 years. Abraham currently works at Treatment Action Group as the HIV Community Engagement Officer where he supports the community engagement efforts for the HIV project. He has a strong theoretical background in public health education, as well as practical experience both inside and outside academic and rural settings. Abraham is passionate and committed to ending HIV/AIDS in marginalized communities, especially among Black gay men. During his free time, he enjoys traveling, trying different restaurants, and listening to his favorite artists.


Elias Preciado

I am a second-year MPH student at Columbia. I study epidemiology and health policy. I got my B.S. in Public Health at Syracuse University. I am originally from San Diego. After grad school, I’d like to focus on HIV-prevention and increasing access to PrEP for high-risk communities. Aside from working in public health; my life long goal is to be on Survivor! So hopefully you’ll see me running around on an island someday!


Tia Sadler

I joined HMP’s advisory board because people often told me when I was younger to do what I love. Since graduating from Philadelphia University in 2016 with an international business degree, I’ve traveled the world from Quebec to Tokyo searching for a purposeful career. When I was an interpreter in Japan, I got to learn many new perspectives through linguistics. While working as a research assistant at The University of Pennsylvania, I’ve engaged in the cutting edge of social behavioral science as it relates to next generation HIV prevention technology and it’s acceptability amongst sexually and gender diverse (SGD) youth. When I was younger, having a resource like the HealthMpowerment app’s articles and forums would have provided an immeasurable improvement in my ability to navigate my gay and trans experiences. It has also helped me realize my passion for creative writing and journalism, galvanizing conversations about sexual health education, relationships, trauma, healing, and perseverance. I also enjoy contributing to research about SGD people’s lived experiences that can someday help achieve full equitable treatment under the law, academia, and society.

YAB Alumni


Tiffany Richardson

In 2017, Tiffany Richardson began her work within the LGBTQ+ community by serving as a member of the Rainbow Collaborative Project and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). These projects were centered on participatory research for and by LGBTQ+ youth and were facilitated by Dr. Mo from the Henry Ford Health System. Through this collaboration, Tiffany was able to learn the process of conducting effective research, and the importance of using ethical research practices and involve the community intended to be impacted.

Since then Tiffany has extended her reach within community, and has become a board member of Trans Sistas of Color Project (TSOCP). The TSOCP has given her the opportunity to connect with other trans women of color activists and organizers to improve and empower the lives of other trans women of color in the Metro Detroit area. In her spare time Tiffany enjoys movie nights with friends and community members, and I also an active member of the ballroom scene; a series of categories in which members of respective houses compete display various talents to win titles, trophies, and cash prizes.


Cedric Pulliam

Cedric Pulliam, Ph.D. currently serves as a Public Health Advisor and Project Officer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for HIV/AIDS Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention in the Prevention Programs Branch of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention. He recently completed his postdoctoral fellowship as a 2019 Senior Postdoctoral Health Equity Fellow at the Black AIDS Institute in Los Angeles, California through the Youth Health Equity Model of Practice Health Equity Fellowship program by the Office of Minority Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Pulliam recently completed his doctoral studies in Health and Medical Psychology with a focus on Psychosocial and Sexual Effects of Young Men who have Sex with Men of Color who take PrEP and PEP from Northcentral University. He has served in the U.S. federal government for 10 years most recently as the Senior Human Rights and Key Populations Advisor at PEPAR (U.S. Department of State) fostering partnerships and working with civil society organizations and engaging work within the PEPFAR HBCU Global Health Consortium and enhancing the continued key populations and LGBTI programming throughout PEPFAR. Dr. Pulliam has worked in the domestic HIV response for ten years, he currently serves as the Community Liaison and HIV Outreach and Prevention Volunteer at the Gay Men’s Health Collaborative (GMHC). For Virginia advocacy, Cedric co-founded the Ending the Criminalization of HIV and Overincarceration in Virginia Coalition (ECHO VA Coalition). He founded and leads the Regional HIV/AIDS Policy and Planning Summit for the DC metro area held every other year. He is a member of the 2019 United States Conference on AIDS regional advisory board and local host committee by serving on several subcommittees and leading the Youth Lounge efforts. He earned master’s degrees from Central European University and Georgetown University and bachelor’s degrees from Elon University. He serves on the board of Sister Love, Inc., Sister Love Inc. South Africa, and the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa International Steering Committee.


Sloane Allen

My name is Sloane and I am 21 years old. I identify as trans fem and love to volunteer with organizations such as, Gay for Good, and recently Equality NC. One subject I am extremely passionate about, is the equality and education about Trans and Gender Non-Conforming people of color. Pursing a degree in Mass Communications (journalism), I hope to one day be able to shine a light on the often forgotten or mistreated community of Trans and Gender Non-conforming people.