The Healthy Young Men’s Study (HYM) is a research initiative funded by the National Institutes of Health focused on preventing HIV and improving the health and wellness of Black, Latino, and multiracial young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in Los Angeles.
- Develop new tools and interventions to prevent new HIV infections and improve health outcomes.
- Better understand the barriers that keep young men of color out of care, as well as factors that help them stay in care.
- Develop best practices for engaging young gay men of color in the HIV Care Continuum.
- Influence HIV care policy and funding.
- Address institutional and structural barriers to care.
- Advocate for young gay men of color.
- Study over time the following about young gay men of
- Insurance status and access to care
- Substance use including alcohol, marijuana and other illicit substances
- Use and access to HIV/STI testing and treatment services
- For HIV+ young men, their retention in HIV/AIDS care and adherence to ART
- Use of biomedical prevention interventions, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
With a new administrative supplement, HYM will recruit 125 transgender and non-gender conforming youth (TGY). This supplement will compare drug use and sexual risk among HYM cohort and TGY, and will also involve harmonizing data collection with a multi-city study of TGY (Atlanta, Chicago, Portland)
HYM will also begin an analysis of intensive longitudinal bio-behavioral data (such as cohort data, wearables, and geospatial data) as predictors of drug use, sexual risk, and engagement in care. This will involve machine learning research in collaboration with the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and analytics work with the Methodology Center at Penn State University.
Other areas of interest include the study of the microbiome of recent HIV-seroconverters and interventions to increase engagement along the HIV prevention and care continua, such as PrEP uptake using the mHealth platform and Strength-and asset-based intervention to promote resilience and self-efficacy related to HIV prevention.