Feasibility of a community-level, multi-component intervention for Black MSM in preparation for a Phase IIB community-level randomized trial to test the efficacy of the intervention in reducing HIV incidence among Black MSM
What is HPTN 061?
HPTN 061 was a research study conducted to examine certain strategies which may show promise for slowing the spread of HIV among Black gay, bisexual and other MSM. The study also sought to better understand the lives of Black MSM and how factors in their lives relate to HIV risk. The study began enrolling participants in July 2009 and completed follow up in December 2011
Who participated in the study?
A total of 1553 MSM and transgender persons, both HIV infected and uninfected, who were 18 years old or older and self-identified as Black, enrolled in six cities. These cities (and the local name of the study) were: Atlanta, GA (BROTHERS), Boston, MA (Project SOS), New York, NY (Brothers’ Project), Los Angeles, CA (The Brothers’ Project), San Francisco, CA (Unity), and Washington, DC (061).
What happened during the study?
Most participants had three visits spaced out over a year. At these visits, participants were asked questions about their past and current lives. They were offered testing for HIV and other sexually-transmitted infections, as well as an opportunity to work with a “peer health navigator” who could assist them in getting connected to resources available in their community, such as medical care and social services
Initial analyses of the data revealed greatly elevated HIV infection rates among young Black MSM in the U.S. The study was first to determine the rate of new HIV infection among such a large prospective cohort of U.S. Black MSM (referred to as HIV incidence). Other early analyses showed that HIV infection in this study population was associated with high rates of sexually transmitted infections, poverty and low and/or delayed rates of HIV testing.
A key question at the beginning of the study was whether Black MSM would agree to participate in this research. The number of men enrolled clearly shows that Black MSM were willing to volunteer their time, information and samples for an HIV study. In addition, more than 350 men worked with a peer health counselor at one or more study sites, and over 97% of men enrolled were willing to have an HIV test. This success speaks to the generosity of the participants and the dedication and support of staff and community partners at each site.