The DRISTI Intervention (Drive Against Stigma)

The DriSti (DRIve Against STIgma) CDC EBI intervnetion is a brief, scalable, mhealh, HIV stigma-reduction intervention for nursing students and ward staff (i.e., staff who assist with hospital patient care, including transporting patients and changing bed sheets) in Bangalore, Mysore, and Mangalore in Karnataka state, India.  Download intervention description .word doc.  DriSti training videos (YouTube).



Research for HIV Testing - June 27, 2021 [booklet]

Use our 2021 Research for HIV Testing booklet to stay up-to-date on our latest studies.

✅ Stay up-to-date on our latest research
✅ Provide materials in training and presentations
✅ Advocate for services and funding
✅ Write grants
✅ Develop new or modify existing HIV prevention programs
✅ Connect with us. The investigators are listed for each study.



HIV Test Delivery in the United States

In the United States, more than 161,200 individuals – 13% of the 1.1 million people living with HIV (PLWH) – are unaware of their HIV infection.¹ Estimates say these individuals account for 30% of all new annual infections.2

Knowledge is power! People who know they are infected with HIV can be linked to care and start antiretroviral therapy (ART). Sustained HIV treatment reduces one’s viral load (VL) level to undetectable, making it unlikely that HIV is transmitted to sexual partners.3 People with a negative test result can make positive decisions about their sexual behaviors and drug use. They can take pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which prevents HIV transmission by more than 90%.4

Who needs to be tested? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends opt-out HIV testing in clinical health care settings for patients ages 13-64 at least once as part of routine health care regardless of known HIV risk factors or symptoms, and at least once a year for those with specific risk factors.It also recommends that pregnant women and any newborn whose mother’s HIV status is unknown be tested.5 Gay and bisexual men at risk for HIV should be tested more frequently – every 3 to 6 months.6

Who is (and is not) testing? Testing among the general adult population (age 18 or older) in the United States (U.S.) is inadequate; those reporting ever being tested increased from 38% in 2013 to just 44% in 2018.7 Testing disparities exist among people who have ever tested for HIV. People within groups with the highest testing rates include race (Non-Hispanic Blacks/African Americans, 63%)⁸; age (25-34, 55% and 35-44, 59%)⁹; sex (women, 52%)⁹; youth (Non-Hispanic Blacks/African Americans, 17%)10; transgender (women, 36%)11. Men who have sex with men (MSM) are more likely to have ever been tested for HIV (71%) than any other group.12

What is being done? 

Routine HIV testing (RHT) in clinical settings allows the offer of opt-out HIV testing (patient tested unless decline) and/or opt-in testing (patient actively requests/accepts to be tested) however barriers exist (e.g., lack of access to healthcare, time constraints/competing priorities, lack of knowledge/training, pretest counseling requirements; fear and misperceptions about HIV risk and the testing process, inadequate reimbursement).15-17 Even so, testing in clinical settings has occurred with some success.18 Rates vary for test offer, acceptance, performance, and HIV positivity.19,20  Rates of offering RHT in U.S. hospitals are low (19% to 26%) but, when offered, test acceptance is high (53% to 75%).16 More than 80% of surveyed U.S. hospital emergency departments (EDs) reported conducting any HIV testing.21 Patient satisfaction with RHT in EDs is high, reaching 92%.22 Also, patients who declined testing in the ED later accepted when re-offered during hospitalization.23

Forty-one percent of surveyed primary care (PC) physicians in community health centers (CHCs) reported knowing about CDC’s RHT recommendations.24 Sixty-nine percent of patients offered opt-out testing at urban PC clinics agreed to test25 Just 22% of patients offered opt-in testing at urgent care clinics agreed to test. 26

Family planning (FP) clinics serve diverse clients and can play an important role in HIV screening, education, and risk‐reduction counseling. A study of 10 clinics found that as HIV testing changed from opt-in to routine opt-out to routine rapid testing the number of clients receiving HIV tests and identified as positive increased significantly27 Another study found that transition from targeted testing to integrated routine rapid testing improved test acceptance by 17%; 100% of HIV positive individuals were linked to care.28

Patients seen in sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics are at higher risk for HIV infection than the general population.29 High HIV test acceptance (68%) and receipt of test results (85%)  are reported for individuals offered an HIV test at a STD clinic. Overall, 5.6 people tested positive for HIV per every 1,000 people who tested. Men who tested were more likely to be HIV positive than women who tested (8.6 per 1,000 and 1.2 per 1,000, respectively). For MSM, the HIV positivity rate was much higher (63.8 per 1,000 ).29 When HIV testing services at STD clinics are expanded from referral/opt-in to opt-out, testing increased  – from 10 to 68%.30 When risk-reduction counseling is excluded, the cost of implementing universal rapid HIV testing is reduced by more than 50%.31

Testing in nonclinical settings allows diagnosis of HIV among individuals who may not access health services and are willing to test in community testing programs (CTPs) and venues (e.g., stand-alone sites, bars/clubs, mobile clinics, substance abuse/drug treatment centers, sex on-premises sites, etc.). Populations served and testing methods vary across CTPs/venues; a broad range of findings are reported: test acceptance (9% to 95%); test receipt (29% to 100%); client satisfaction (91% to 99%); HIV positivity rates (0% to 12%, ≥ 10% were reported for most studies). Higher percentages of clients received their results with rapid testing than with other methods.32 Transgender women and people who are black, HIV positive, previously incarcerated, sex workers, or stably housed tend to test more at CTPs than their demographic counterparts.33 Twelve percent of trans women who tested at CTPs tested HIV positive.34. Eighty percent of individuals who tested onsite at substance use treatment centers received their result compared to 18% who were referred to another site and followed through with the testing.35 Across the nation, treatment programs were found to be the most frequently identified location of participants’ last HIV test; however, despite the availability of free, on-site testing, substantial opportunities to test clients are missed.36

Testing in pharmacies is supported by 79% of surveyed staff37; lack of staff training, uneasiness delivering positive test results, patient linkage to care, and insufficient consulting space deter testing.38 Individuals with recent high-risk behaviors who had not previously tested for HIV test at pharmacies and report favorable perceptions of their rapid HIV testing experience.39

HIV self-testing (HIVST) is a proven, growing testing alternative that allows private in-home testing via oral fluid or blood sample testing. Use of both are reported; oral fluid is simpler and more acceptable.40 In the U.S., HIVST has been studied in diverse groups; test acceptance ranges from 63% to 85%.41 HIVST is a positive addition to MSM’s HIV prevention toolbox42 and is preferred over other testing methods.43 A peer-based self-testing strategy identified more MSM that had never tested for HIV and positive test results than MSM who used the County-sponsored testing programs.44 HIVST is an effective testing choice for transgender women; 68% of participants in a study preferred HIVST to clinic-based testing and 91% indicated they would recommend HIVST to a friend.45 HIVST was also highly acceptable among 1,535 individuals residing in an urban, mostly Black/African American neighborhood where 50% of participants were female.46 Uptake, acceptability, and positive outcomes of HIVST are also reported using social media and internet strategies as well as distribution in bathhouses where kits potentially reach diverse, high-risk populations of MSM.47-50Ease of use, convenience, the potential for integration with mobile health, and availability for various modes of distribution favor HIVST for large-scale implementation however it is challenged with lesser test performance relative to that in health care settings, nonstandard counseling following receipt of test results, and difficulty providing linkage to care.51

What still needs to be done? To identify, reach, and test individuals in the U.S. who are infected with HIV but do not know their status

  • Address barriers and continue to expand RHT in hospitals and other clinical settings, using the HIV rapid test.
  • Expand testing in agencies with the potential to, or demonstrated history of, identifying individuals with undiagnosed HIV.
  • Further tailor and build on HIV testing strategies that reach populations less likely to test and/or at heightened risk of HIV infection, (e.g., MSM, transgender women of color, youth/young adults, Blk/Afr. Am. women, and Latinx communities).
  • Revise CDC testing recommendations to include populations known to be at increased risk for HIV infection but not included in the prior recommendations (e.g., transgender women).
  • Promote self-testing where people at risk for HIV infection congregate (e.g., bathhouses, bars, internet/social media).
  • Research, understand and address the role of social conditions (e.g., homelessness, racism, exposure immersion, and education/economic opportunities) and their effect on HIV testing decision-making.
  • Support ending the HIV epidemic (EtHE) research and programs to promptly diagnose people with unknown HIV status.
Produced by the Community Engagement Core. Revised 02/2021 by Barbara Green-Ajufo and John-Manuel Android | Reviewers: Beth Bourdeau, John Hamiga, Greg Rebchook and Parya Saberi.
Says who?
  1. CDC. HIV Testing in the United States.
  2. Rosenberg SJ, et al. HIV transmission at each step of the care continuum in the US. JAMA Intern Med. 2015; 175: 588-596.
  3. CDC. HIV Treatment as Prevention.
  4. CDC. HIV Testing.
  5. CDC. MMWR Recommendations & Reports. 55(RR14); 1-17. September 2006.
  6. CDC. HIV Testing in Clinical Settings.
  7. NHIS. % adults ≥ age 18 who had ever been tested for HIV: US, 2006–2018.
  8. NHIS. Age-sex-adjusted % adults ≥ age 18 who had ever been tested for HIV, by race and ethnicity: US, 2018.
  9. NHIS. % adults ≥ age 18 who had ever been tested for HIV, by age group and sex: US, 2018.
  10. CDC.Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — US, 2015. MMWR Surveill Summ 2016;65(6):1-180.
  11. CDC. HIV Testing Among Transgender Women and Men — 27 States and Guam, 2014–2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2017;66:883–887.
  12. CDC. Interval Since Last HIV Test for Men and Women with Recent Risk for HIV Infection — US, 2006–2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2018;67:677–681.
  13. NHIS. % adults ≥ age 18 who had ever been tested for HIV, by metropolitan statistical area (MSA) status: US, 2018.
  14. KFF. State Health Facts. Percentage of Persons Aged 18-64 Who Reported Ever Receiving an HIV Test, 2017.,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
  15. KFF. State Health Facts. % Persons Aged 18-64 Who Reported Ever Receiving an HIV Test, 2017.,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D
  16. Rizza SA, et. al. HIV Screening in the HC Setting: Status, Barriers, and Potential Solutions. Mayo Clin Proc. 2012 Sep; 87(9): 915–924
  17. Burke RC, et. al. Why don’t physicians test for HIV? A review of the US literature. AIDS 2007;21(7):1617-1624.
  18. Elgalib A, et. al. Hospital‐based RHT in high‐income countries: a systematic literature review.
  19. Haukoos JS, et. al. HIV Testing in EDs in the US: A National Survey.
  20. Broeckaert L, et al. The routine offer of HIV testing in PC settings: A review of the evidence.
  21. Montoy JCC, et al. Patient choice in opt-in, active choice, and opt-out HIV screening: RCT. BMJ 2016 Jan 19; 352:h6895.
  22. Rothman RE, et. al. 2009 US ED HIV Testing Practices.
  23. Donnell-Fink L, et al. Patient Satisfaction with RHT in the ED.
  24. Felsen UR, et. al. Increased HIV testing among hospitalized patients who declined testing in the emergency department. AIDS Care. 2016 May;28(5):591–597.
  25. Arya M, et al. In the RHT Era, PC Physicians in CHC Remain Unaware of HIV-Testing Recommendations. J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2014 Jul-Aug; 13(4): 296–299.
  26. Valenti SE, et al. RHT in PCC: A Study Evaluating Patient and Provider Acceptance. JANAC, Jan-Feb 2012: 23(1);87-91.
  27. HIV Screening in the UC Setting.
  28. Buzi RS. Integrating RHT Testing into FP Clinics that Treat Adolescents and Young Adults. 10.1177/00333549161310S115
  29. Criniti SM, et. al. Integration of rapid RHT screening in an urban FP clinic. J Midwifery Women's Health. 2011 Jul-Aug;56(4):395-399.
  30. Doug Campos-Outcalt, Integrating RHT into a PH STD Clinic. 10.1177/003335490612100212
  31. Campbell CK, et al. Strategies to Increase HIV Testing Among MSM: A Synthesis of the Literature.
  32. Ashley A. Eggman, et. al.  The Cost of Implementing RHT in STD Clinics In The US. 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000000168
  33. Thornton AC, et al. HIV testing in community settings in resource-rich countries: a systematic review of the evidence. HIV Medicine 2012;13:416-426.
  34. Juarez-Cuellar A, et al. HIV Testing in Urban Transgender Individuals: A Descriptive Study. 10.1089/trgh.2016.0047
  35. Schulden JD, et. al. RHT in Transgender Communities by CBOs in Three Cities. 10.1177/00333549081230S313
  36. Increasing HIV Testing, Including Rapid Testing, in SUD Treatment Programs.
  37. Kyle TL. Uptake of HIV Testing in SUD Treatment Programs that Offer On-Site Testing. 10.1007/s10461-014-0864-2
  38. Amesty S, et. al. Pharmacy staff characteristics associated with support for pharmacy-based HIV testing.
  39. Ryder PT, et. al. Pharmacists’ perspectives on HIV testing in community pharmacies.
  40. Darin KM, et. al. Pharmacist-provided rapid HIV testing in two community pharmacies.
  41. Steehler K, et al. Bringing HIV Self-Testing to Scale in the United States: a Review of Challenges, Potential Solutions, and Future Opportunities.
  42. Krause J, et al.  Acceptability of HIV self-testing: a systematic literature review.
  43. Freeman AE, el al. Perceptions of HIVST among MSM in the U.S.: A Qualitative Analysis.
  44. Katz DA, et al. HIV Self-Testing Increases HIV Testing Frequency in High Risk Men Who Have Sex with Men: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
  45. Lightfoot M, et al. Using a Social Network Strategy to Distribute HIV Self-Test Kits to African American and Latino MSM.
  46. Lippman SA, et al. Acceptability and Feasibility of HIV Self-Testing Among Transgender Women in San Francisco: A Mixed Methods Pilot Study.
  47. Nunn A, et. al. Latent class analysis of acceptability and willingness to pay for self-HIV testing in a United States urban neighbourhood with high rates of HIV infection. J Int AIDS Soc. 2017; 20(1): 21290.
  48. Huang E, et al. A Social Media-Based HIV Self-Test Program to Raise Community-Level Serostatus Awareness, Los Angeles. [Google Scholar]
  49. Carballo-Diéguez A, et al. Use of a Rapid HIV Home Test Prevents HIV Exposure in a High Risk Sample of Men Who Have Sex With Men. AIDS Behav. 2012 Oct;16(7):1753-60.
  50. Chavez PR, et al. Characteristics Associated with HIVST Reported by Internet-Recruited MSM in U.S., eSTAMO Baseline Data, 2015.
  51. Woods, WJ, et al. Bathhouse distribution of HIVST kits reaches diverse, high-risk population.
  52. Steehler K and Siegler AJ. Bringing HIV Self-Testing to Scale in the United States: a Review of Challenges, Potential Solutions, and Future Opportunities.

Black Men

What are Black Men’s HIV Prevention Needs?

Who are Black men?

In the U.S., Black men include different ethnic groups from the African Diaspora. They are friends and diverse family members: fathers, grandfathers, husbands, partners, brothers, uncles, sons, nephews, and cousins. They are colleagues working in professional and blue-collar jobs. They also represent different sexual orientations, have diverse spiritual and religious beliefs, and speak different languages, among having other demographic differences.

 Why is HIV a concern among Black men?

HIV is a health emergency among Black men of every age and sexual orientation. In 2017, 32% of HIV infections diagnosed in the U.S. were among Black men. They were diagnosed eight times more than white men and two times more than Hispanic men (1). One in every 22 Black men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Among the general population of men, Black men have a higher risk of HIV, noted by the differences below that will continue if current trends are not reversed (2-4).

  • Men who have sex with men (MSM): black (1 in 2); general MSM population (1 in 6)
  • People Who Inject Drugs (PWID): black men (1 in 11); general male PWID population (1 in 42)
  • Heterosexual men: black (1 in 97); general heterosexual male population (1 in 524)

Black MSM (BMSM)—including gay and bisexual men (same-gender-loving men [5])—are more likely than other MSM to be diagnosed with HIV (38% in 2017) (6). Young Black MSM (YBMSM) are most at risk (7). Seventy-five percent of all BMSM diagnosed with HIV in 2015 were ≤ age 34. Many studies have shown that BMSM’s engagement in condomless anal intercourse (CAI) and number of sexual partners are similar to or less than MSM of other race or ethnic groups. However, BMSM are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV. In one study, YBMSM were nine times more likely to be living with HIV than white participants with similar risks (9). The awareness of and demand for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) – a proven biomedical intervention – is lower for BMSM than white MSM (WMSM) (13). In 2016, 68.7% of the PrEP prescriptions in the U.S. were to Whites, 13.1% to Latinos, and 11.2% to African Americans (14).

What are HIV risk factors for Black men?

Stigma and Discrimination – When Black men experience stigma or discrimination, they are less likely to use PrEP (15), disclose their HIV status (16), and are at higher risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs, including HIV) (17). Moreover, discrimination-related traumas, based on being gay, black, or living with HIV, are associated with greater CAI (18). High HIV infection rates, racist attitudes of non-Black gay men, and social networks and environments where gay men gather have been found to stigmatize and isolate BMSM from other MSM (19). BMSMW (Black men who have sex with men and women) are even less likely than BMSM (only men) to know their serostatus and less likely to be engaged in care or be virally suppressed (20).

HIV Care Continuum Disparities – Poor retention of Black men in health care is deeply rooted in discriminatory practices of the medical system towards the Black community (21). Consequently, BMSM are less likely than white MSM to know their HIV status, more likely to be diagnosed later, and less likely to stay engaged in care and on treatment (22-23) (and be virally suppressed, with rates lowest for YBMSM [24]). In order to make effective use of the approach of treatment as prevention (TasP; 25), which means preventing HIV transmission by getting a critical mass of people living with HIV diagnosed and virally suppressed, there must be sufficient numbers of persons living with HIV who get diagnosed and treated (26-28). 

Poverty – Discrimination and reduced access to and retention in quality education are reasons that Black men experience more unemployment or are underemployed, compared to white men (29). Consequently, Black men are more likely to be living in poverty, which usually means reduced access to quality health care, compared to white men (30). Rates of HIV increase 3.0 to 5.5 times with increasing neighborhood poverty level from < 10% (low poverty) to more than 30% (very high poverty level) (31-32). For Black individuals living with HIV, poverty is associated with lower levels of engagement in HIV care (33).

Sexual Trauma – Sexual abuse and assault rates are high among MSM and are related to greater risks of HIV infection. In the EXPLORE Study, 39% of MSM reported childhood sexual assault; Black participants were more likely to have a history of assault than no history of assault (34-35).

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – Having an STI can increase the chances of transmitting or becoming infected with HIV (36). STI disparities in the Black community increase the likelihood of transmission (37-38). 

Social networks and sex with men of their race – The high HIV rate among BMSM and their preference for sex with MSM of their same race increase the chances of BMSM having a sexual partner that is living with HIV. A review of studies found that at least 29% of BMSM in networks having sexual contact were living with HIV and 47% of men living with HIV in these networks did not know their status (39). 

What are not HIV risk factors for black MSM? - A review of the literature (40) has concluded that Black MSM engage in fewer HIV risk behaviors than other MSM. For example, Black MSM reported less UAI with primary male partners, few male sex partners, and less substance use during sex than other MSM. Risk factors such as poverty and STIs are more important drivers of HIV transmission among BMSM than individual risk behaviors. 

What is being done?

Research findings for black men of diverse ages, sexual orientations, and HIV serostatus, discussed below, have been shown to reduce sexual risk behaviors and increase engagement in HIV care (41).

Randomized Comparison Group Interventions: Research on one tailored program shows promise for encouraging BMSM to initiate PrEP (42). Six interventions studied in a Randomized-Controlled Trial (RCT) setting, Many Men Many Voices (3MV)(43), Brothers to Brothers (44), Men of African American Legacy Empowerment Self (MAALES)(45), Being Responsible for Ourselves (BRO)(46), Unity in Diversity (UND)(47) and Harnessing Online Peer Education (HOPE)(48) report positive findings about reducing risky behaviors. The intervention nGage, designed to increase retention in care for YBMSM utilizing support confidants, found participants 3 times more likely to have had at least 3 provider visits over 12 months after the intervention (49). 

Pre- Post-Test/Repeated Survey Interventions: Black MSM who participated in ‘d-up: Defend Yourself!’ (50), Connect with Pride (51), BRUTHAS (52), Motivational Interviewing (MI) (53), or (SPNS) (54) interventions report improved outcomes, compared to those with limited or no participation. Different studies also reported improvements in social support, self-esteem, and loneliness, as well as improved likelihood of HIV counseling and testing, return for test results, and fewer missed HIV medical visits. For one study, as the number of hours spent attending case management meetings increased, the time in HIV care increased. Finally, a community-level intervention utilizing the Popular Opinion Leader model, based on d-up! and adapted for YBMSM in the House Ball Community, Promoting Ovahness through Safer Sex Education (POSSE), saw declines for multiple sexual partners, TASP with any male partners, and with male partners of unknown HIV status (55).

Blended Pre- Post-Test and Control Group: Young MSM of color who participated in STYLE (Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered) reported 83% retention in care, and the chances of attending a clinic visit was greater for the STYLE participants than non-participants (2.58, 95% CI 1.34-4.98) (56).

What still needs to be done?

Prevention prioritizing Black men should not simply address high-risk sexual behaviors but also societal and structural issues. We need policies that will prevent new infections and add to our understanding of disparities, including structural interventions (57-58). We need to combine behavioral and biomedical interventions; abandon a “one size fits all” approach; address high STI rates, traumatic events and structural and access barriers; and, consider the intersection of health and social conditions. The need to address stigma must not be lost. Data must be presented with background, community perspective, and accurate explanation. HIV disclosure must include strategies to help partners and family members receive information that their loved one is gay or living with HIV. Broad implementation of successful interventions in areas where HIV is highest for Black men is necessary.

Says who?

  1. CDC. HIV among Afr. Americans. September 2019 (
  2. Gavett G. Timeline: 30 Yrs. of AIDS in Blk. Americans. KQED Frontline. Jul 10, 2012.
  3. Hess K, et al. Est. lifetime risk of dx of HIV infect in the U.S. CROI 2016. Boston, abstract 52.
  4. Hess, KL et al. Lifetime risk of a diagnosis of HIV infection in the United States. Ann Epidemiol. 2017 April; 27(4): 238–243. 
  5. Truong N, et al. What is in a label? Multiple meanings of 'MSM' among same-gender-loving Black men in Mississippi. Glob Public Health. 2016 Aug-Sep;11(7-8):937-52.
  6. CDC. HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men. September 2019.
  7. Mitsch A, et al. Age-associated trends in diagnosis and prevalence of infection with HIV among men who have sex with men – United States, 2008-2016. MMWR Mob Mortal Wkly Rep. Sep 2018; 67(37):1025-1031.
  8. CDC. HIV and African American Gay and Bisexual Men. September 2019.
  9. Millett GA, et al. Greater Risk for HIV Infect of Blk MSM: Lit Rev. AJPH. Jun 2006;96(6):1007-19.
  10. Millet GA, et al. Disparities in HIV Infect among Blk and Wht MSM: Meta-Analysis. AIDS. Oct 1 2007;21(15):2083-91.
  11. Magnus M, et al. Elevated HIV Prev. Despite Lower Rates of Sexual Risk Behav among Blk MSM in DC. AIDS Patient Care STDS. Oct 2010;24(10): 615–22.
  12. Maulsby C, et al. HIV among Blk MSM in the U.S.: Lit. Rev. AIDS and Behav Jan 2014;18(1):10-25.
  13. Cohen SE, et al. Response to race and PH impact potential of PrEP in the U.S. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. Sep 1 2015;70(1):e33-e35.
  14. Highleyman L. PrEP use rising in U.S. but large racial disparities remain. Jun 24, 2016.
  15. Chaill S, et al. Stigma, med mistrust, and racism affect PrEP awareness and uptake in Blk compared to Wht MSM in Jackson, MS and Boston, MA. AIDS Care, 2017.
  16. Overstreet NM, et al. Internalized stigma and HIV status disclosure among HIV-pos MSM. AIDS Care 2013;25 4, 466-471.
  17. Watson, RJ, et al. Risk and protective factors for sexual health outcomes among Black bisexual men in the US: Internalized hetersexism, sexual orientation disclosure, and religiosity. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Jan 2019; 48(1): 243-253.
  18. Fields EL, et al. Assoc. of Discrimination-Related Trauma with Sexual Risk among HIV-Pos Afr. Am. MSM. AJPH. May 2013;103(5):875-80.
  19. Raymond HF, et al. Racial Mixing and HIV Risk among MSM. AIDS Behav Aug 2009;13(4):630-37.
  20. Friedman, MR et al. HIV Care Continuum disparities among Black bisexual men and the mediating effect of psychosocial comorbidities. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. Apr 2018; 77(5):451-458.
  21. Eaton, L et al. Role of Stigma and Med Mistrust in Routine Hlth Care Engagement of MSM. AJPH. Feb 2015;105(2): e75–e82.
  22. Levy ME, et al. Understand Structural Barriers to Accessing HIV Test & Prev Servs among Blk MSM in the U.S. AIDS Behav. 2014 May; 18(5): 972–996.
  23. Christopoulos KA, et al. Linkage and Retention in HIV Care among MSM in the U.S. Clin Infect Dis. 2011 Jan 15; 52(Suppl 2): S214–S222.
  24. Singh S, et al. HIV Care Outcomes Among Men Who Have Sex With Men With Diagnosed HIV Infection - United States, 2015. MMWR Mob Mortal Wkly Rep. Sep 2017; 66(37):969-974.
  25. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Treatment as Prevention. 2018; Accessed May 31, 2019.
  26. Cortopassi AC, Driver R, Eaton LA, Kalichman SC. A new era of HIV risk: it's not what you know, it's who you know (and how infectious). Annu Rev Psychol. 2019;70:673-701.
  27. Eaton LA, Matthews DD, Bukowski LA, et al. Elevated HIV prevalence and correlates of PrEP use among a community sample of Black men who have sex with men. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2018;79(3):339-346.
  28. Kalichman SC, Price D, Eaton LA, et al. Diminishing perceived threat of AIDS and increasing sexual risks of HIV among men who have sex with men, 1997-2015. Arch Sex Behav. 2017;46(4):895-902.
  29. Ethnic and Racial Minorities and SES. Factsheet. APA.
  30. Alameda Co. CA eHARS data (2008-2012). Verbal communication with Nina Murgai, Dir, HIV/AIDS Surv Unit.
  31. 29. Wiewel EW, et al. Assoc bwt Neighborhood Poverty and HIV Dx among Males and Females in NYC, 2010-2011. PH Rep. Mar-Apr 2016;131(2):290-302.
  32. Lechtenberg RJ, et al. Poverty, Race, Engagement: Diff Assoc with Retention in Care among PLWH in Alameda Co. UCSF CFAR HIV Hlth Disparities Symposium, Mar 24, 2017.
  33. Mimiaga MM, et al. Child Sexual Abuse Assoc with HIV Risk–Taking Behav and Infect among MSM in the EXPLORE Study. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2009 Jul 1:51(3):340-348.
  34. Millett GA, et al. Common roots: A contextual review of HIV epidemics in Black men who have sex with men across the African diaspora. Lancet. Jul 2012;380(9839):411-23.
  35. CDC. STDs and HIV – CDC Factsheet. Nov 17, 2015.
  36. CDC. 2015 STDs Surveillance – STDs in Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Jan 23, 2017.
  37. Scott HM, et al. Racial/ethnic and sexual behav disparities in rates of STIs, SF (1999-2008). BMC Pub Hlth. Jun 6, 2010;10:315.
  38. Pathela P, et al. MSM have higher risk for newly dx HIV and syphilis compared with heterosexual men in NYC. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. Dec 1, 2011;58(4):408-16.
  39. Hurt CB, et al. Invest Sexual Network of Blk MSM: Implications for Transmission and Prev of HIV Infect in U.S. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. Dec 2012;61(4):515-21.
  40. Maulsby C, et al. Rev of HIV Interv for Blk MSM. BMC Pub Hlth. 2013;13:625.
  41. Millett GA, Peterson JL, Flores SA, et al. Comparisons of disparities and risks of HIV infection in black and other men who have sex with men in Canada, UK, and USA: A meta-analysis. Lancet. 2012;380:341-348.
  42. Wheeler, DP, et al. Pre-exposure prophylaxis initiation and adherence among Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in three US cities: results from the HPTN 073 study. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2019; 22: e25223.
  43. Stein R. Reduced sexual risk behaviors among young Men of color Who have Sex with Men: findings from the community-based organization behavioral outcomes of many Men, many voices (CBOP-3MV) project. Prev Sci. 2015;16(8):1147–58.
  44. Peterson JL, et al. Evaluation of an HIV risk reduction intervention among African-American homosexual and bisexual men. AIDS 1996, 10: 319 – 325.
  45. Harawa NT, et al. Efficacy of a culturally congruent HIV risk-reduction intervention for behaviorally bisexual black men: Results of a randomized trial. AIDS. 2013;27(12):1979–88.
  46. Jemmott III, JB, et al. On the efficacy and mediation of a One-on-One HIV risk-reduction intervention for African American Men Who have Sex with Men: a randomized controlled trial. AIDS Behav. 2015;9(7):1247–62.
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Prepared by Bob Haas & Barbara Green-Ajufo, DrPH, MPH . Updated April 2020 by Beth Bourdeau, PhD, Wilson Vincent, PhD, MPH, Rob Newells, George Jackson, and Andrew Wilson, MPH.

Special thanks to the following reviewers of this Fact Sheet: Emily Arnold, Jesse Brooks, Lorenzo Hinojosa, Loren Jones, Micah Lubensky, Daryl Mangosing, Janet Myers, Nasheedah Bynes-Muhammad, Rob Newells, John Peterson, Greg Rebchook, Andrew Reynolds, and Wilson Vincent Reproduction of this text is encouraged; however, copies may not be sold, and the University of California San Francisco should be cited as the source. Fact Sheets are also available in Spanish. ©2020, University of CA. Comments and questions about this Fact Sheet may be e-mailed to [email protected]. This publication is a product of a Prevention Research Center and was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 6U48DP006374-01-03 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research Project

Tel-Me-Box: Validating and testing a novel, low cost, real-time monitoring device with hair level analysis among adherence-challenged patients

“Tel-Me-Box” is a small, low-cost, adherence monitoring device, developed by our team that transmits a wireless signal to a server when opened.  Since it cannot assess actual drug ingestion, validation against a biological measure of adherence is crucial.  The overarching hypothesis of this application is that adherence data captured by Tel-Me-Box will demonstrate strong relationships with an objective biomarker of adherence (i.e. hair concentrations of ARVs) and predict virologic suppression in treated HIV-infected individuals.  We additionally hypothesize that tailored real-time adherence feedback via this device will improve adherence rates to HIV therapy for adherence-challenged patients in a pilot randomized clinical trial.  This five-year study is being conducted in collaboration with our colleagues at St. John’s National Academy of Health Sciences in Bangalore and the Karnataka State government. 

PIs: Maria L. Ekstrand PhD, Monica Gandhi MD, MPH

Co-Is: Sara Chandy MD, Rajani Shamsundar, MD

UCSF-based Project Staff: Elsa Heylen MA, Amanda Mazur MS

September 23, 2016 - July 31, 2021