Surveillance estimates in the US indicate a resurgence of new HIV/AIDS cases among young men who have sex with men (YMSM).The investigator's career goal is to become an independent scientist who designs and implements Internet-based HIV-prevention interventions for YMSM given the Internet's promise for advancing HIV/AIDS research and diffusing HIV/AIDS prevention programs through YMSM's virtual networks. This Career Development Award focuses on strengthening the investigator's Internet research skills. The investigator will apply his new skills in a project that explores why and how YMSM use the Internet for dating and test how YMSM's intentions to use condoms with dates are associated with HIV/AIDS risk. Each training goal is matched to a research activity. Training goals are to:1) Master methodological strategies required for Internet- based data collection, measurement adaptation and intervention development;2) Develop, design and implement web-surveys that feature cutting-edge interactive enhancements to retain and maximize survey completion;3) Become proficient in the development and use of psychometrically-sound web-based assessments to study HIV/AIDS risk;4) Advance his training in the ethical conduct of web research, including considerations regarding recruitment, and data collection, management and security. The following specific aims guide the research proposal to: 1) Describe YMSM's dating experiences and discuss these experiences in the context of the opportunities and limitations they present for HIV/AIDS prevention;2) Develop (or adapt) measures that capture YMSM's dating experiences and intentions to use condoms with their dates in an ethnically-diverse sample of YMSM (ages 18-24);3) Describe and characterize YMSM's virtual social networks;4) Assess the psychometric properties of measures regarding YMSM's romantic expectations and condom use with dates;and 5) Examine the role of virtual social networks characteristics, romantic expectations, condom use intentions with dates, and HIV/AIDS risk factors as predictors of condom use among YMSM who use the Internet to date. Findings will inform the development of a subsequent intervention.
The investigator's career goal is to inform Internet HIV-prevention interventions for young men who have sex with men (YMSM). This Career Development Award strengthens the investigator's skills in Internet research through coursework and a mentored research project that explores YMSM's use the Internet to meet romantic partners, their intentions to use condoms with these partners, and their HIV/AIDS risk.
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