Young Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in the U.S. have a disproportionally higher incidence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) compared with other racial/ethnic groups. Unrecognized and untreated HIV and bacterial STIs are likely fueling these disparities as they exist despite similar individual risk behavior compared with other racial/ethnic groups. Known barriers to HIV and STI testing and treatment include low perceived risks, difficulty accessing providers, lack of engagement in regular healthcare, stigma, and concerns about confidentiality. The recent development of two new technologies, mobile health applications on hand-held devices (mHealth) and home testing for HIV and STIs, offer potential solutions to engage young Black MSM in HIV and STI testing and treatment. The major goals of this research are to test whether a combination of technology-based interventions to increase access and awareness can overcome barriers to engaging young Black MSM in HIV and STI testing and treatment; and to understand key features that enhance uptake.
Unrecognized HIV and STIs are likely driving new HIV infections among young Black men who have sex with men in the U.S. With advances in mHealth and home HIV and STI testing strategies, we seek to understand facilitators and barriers to their use, and leverage these technology advances to increase HIV and STI testing frequency and facilitate linkage to care for these men.
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