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Tough Talks research study determines the efficacy of a novel app that utilizes virtual-reality based simulations to allow young people living with HIV to practice disclosing their status to their sexual partners in a safe space. This intervention program is not intended to get people to disclose their status to everyone in their life, but rather to help them decide who to disclose to, how to do it, and how to prepare for the outcome.

The whole app consists of four sections each focused on a different aspect of disclosure. Utilizing choose-your-own-adventure style games, informational and skills-building activities, and virtual-reality disclosure sessions, users can practice disclosing their status to avatars representing real-life people in different scenarios, experiencing a wide variety of outcomes from support, acceptance, confusion, and rejection.

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Study Team: Zach Soberano; Christina Toval, MPH
Principal Investigators: Margo Adams Larsen, PhD; Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH; Kate Muessig, PhD Number: NCT03414372