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Understanding What Young Male Couples Need for HIV Prevention

Understanding What Young Male Couples Need for HIV Prevention

Introduction: Although a substantial number of new
HIV infections occur in the context of romantic partnerships,
there have been limited biomedical and
behavioral intervention efforts designed to address the
relational context of HIV prevention with and for
young gay and bisexual men in romantic relationships.
Methods: We conducted qualitative interviews with
30 young men who reported they were in a relationship
with another man. Interviews were conducted
online via video-chat with participants from 17 states
in the U.S. Interviews focused on communication, relationship
strengths and challenges, as well as potential
ideas for intervention content that could support the
HIV prevention needs of YGBMSM in romantic relationships.
Audio data were recorded, transcribed and
de-identified. Thematic analyses were used to understand
the ways in which relationships influenced decisions
to use HIV prevention strategies, as well as to
identify input on HIV prevention interventions.
Results: Five themes emerged regarding HIV prevention
intervention needs: (1) negotiating sexual consent
and boundaries; (2) stigma surrounding sexuality
and relationships; (3) communication skills around
their relationship and HIV prevention strategies; (4)
educational resources that were designed for young
male couples; and (5) managing their own individual
and relationship goal. Participants identified several
barriers to existing HIV prevention programs, such as
transportation, insurance, and disclosure concerns to
families. Mobile health (mHealth) interventions were
the preferred modality compared to in-person interventions
for young partnered men in surmounting the
barriers of existing in-person services.
Conclusions: Our findings underscore the value of
mHealth interventions that address both HIV risk and
prevention situated within a relationship context. These
data are being used to inform the development and
evaluation of a relationship-focused HIV prevention
intervention for young male couples using telehealth to
reach partnered YGBMSM across the US.
Keywords: couples, LGBT, mHealth
Source of Funding: Work was supported under the
Adolescent Trials Network, National Institutes of Health
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Statement: None

Speakers: Rob Stephenson