The proposed NRSA predoctoral fellowship program is aimed at evaluating a situational model of risky sexual behavior in men who have sex with men (MSM). The research program will focus on determining both differential and common predictors/protective factors of sexual risk in a diverse sample of MSM in terms of age and ethnicity. The broad goal of the project is to come to a better understanding of the variables that influence risky sexual behavior in MSM and to shed light on the disparities in the incidence rates of new HIV infection between subgroups of this population (i.e., subgroups based on age and race/ethinicity).
The specific aims of the project are the following.
Aim 1 :Identify situational factors that contribute to MSM engaging in risky sexual behavior.
Aim II : Characterize developmental differences in processes that underlie risk for HIV.
Aim 1 11: Explore racial/ethnic differences in situational risk factors. Data will be collected from participants specific to individual sexual encounters in order to facilitate a prospective within-persons situational analysis of risky sexual behavior. This prospective approach to data collection will help to minimize potential bias in recall of the events surrounding inividual sexual encounters. Furthermore, investigating situational (i.e., event-level) predictors of sexual risk has the potential to reveal predictors of risk that may be overlooked by taking more global measures of predictor variables across multiple sexual encounters. This research will also help to better understand the rising incidence rates of HIV infection in young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and greater prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Black and Latino MSM by helping to differntiate between situational variables that predict risky sexual behavior in these subgroups of MSM. By better understanding the variables the predict why YMSM and Black and Latino MSM seem to be at higher risk for acquiring HIV, researchers, community agencies, and clinicians will be better informed in preventing risky sexual behavior in these groups of MSM. In terms of long-term career development, the predoctoral fellowship will aid me in developing the skills necessary to achieve the broader goal of pursuing a career as a research scientist in an academic research institution. With this goal in mind, the training program will consist of working under the mentorship of Dr. Brian Mustanski in pursuing didactic training in research methodology, protocol development and biostatistics that will be critical in successfully completing the proposed investigation as well as pursuing my long-term career goals.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-H (22))
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Stoff, David M
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University of Illinois at Chicago
Schools of Medicine
United States
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