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1.  Nondisclosure of HIV Status in a Clinical Trial Setting: Antiretroviral Drug Screening Can Help Distinguish Between Newly Diagnosed and Previously Diagnosed HIV Infection 
In The HIV Prevention Trials Network 061 study, 155 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected men reported no prior HIV diagnosis; 83 of those men had HIV RNA levels of <1000 copies/mL at enrollment. Antiretroviral drug testing revealed that 65 of the 83 (78.3%) men were on antiretroviral treatment. Antiretroviral drug testing can help distinguish between newly diagnosed and previously diagnosed HIV infection.
doi:10.1093/cid/cit672
PMCID: PMC3864502  PMID: 24092804
HIV; antiretroviral; self-report; MSM; new diagnosis
2.  Engaging, Recruiting, and Retaining Black Men Who Have Sex With Men in Research Studies: Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Staffing—Lessons Learned From HPTN 061, the BROTHERS Study 
Context
HIV/AIDS in the United States continues to primarily impact men who have sex with men (MSM), with disproportionately high rates among black MSM.
Objective
The purpose of this study was to identify factors that may influence engagement and retention of black MSM in HIV research.
Design and Participants
This was a qualitative evaluation of study implementation within a multisite, prospective, observational study (HIV Prevention Trials Network 061, BROTHERS) that enrolled 1553 black MSM in 6 cities throughout the United States. Data collection for this evaluation included a written, structured survey collected from each of the sites describing site characteristics including staff and organizational structure, reviews of site standard operating procedures, and work plans; semistructured key informant interviews were conducted with site coordinators to characterize staffing, site-level factors facilitating or impeding effective community engagement, study recruitment, and retention. Data from completed surveys and site standard operating procedures were collated, and notes from key informant interviews were thematically coded for content by 2 independent reviewers.
Results
Several key themes emerged from the data, including the importance of inclusion of members of the community being studied as staff, institutional hiring practices that support inclusive staffing, cultivating a supportive working environment for study implementation, and ongoing relationships between research institutions and community.
Conclusions
This study underscores the importance of staffing in implementing research with black MSM. Investigators should consider how staffing and organizational structures affect implementation during study design and when preparing to initiate study activities. Ongoing monitoring of community engagement can inform and improve methods for engagement and ensure cultural relevance while removing barriers for participation.
doi:10.1097/PHH.0000000000000025
PMCID: PMC4167976  PMID: 24406940
black MSM; community; HIV/AIDS prevention; recruitment; retention
3.  Overcoming Biological, Behavioral and Structural Vulnerabilities: New Directions in Research to Decrease HIV Transmission in Men who have Sex with Men 
Men who have sex with men, including transgender women, comprise a heterogeneous group of individuals, whose sexual behaviors and gender identities may varying widely between cultures and among individuals. Their sources of increased vulnerability to HIV are diverse, including the increased efficiency of HIV transmission via unprotected anal intercourse, sexual role versatility, asymptomatic sexually transmitted infections, as well as behavioral factors that may be associated with condomless sex with multiple partners. Societal stigmatization of homosexual behavior and gender non-conformity may result in internalized negative feelings that lead to depression, other affective disorders, and substance use, which in turn are associated with increased risk taking behaviors. Social stigma and punitive civil environments may lead to delays in seeking HIV and STD screening, and later initiation of antiretroviral therapy. The iPrEX study demonstrated that chemoprophylaxis can decrease HIV acquisition in MSM, and the HPTN 052 study established the biological plausibility that earlier initiation of HAART can decrease HIV transmission to uninfected partners. Despite these advances, MSM remain among the most significantly HIV-affected population in resource rich and limited settings. New studies will integrate enhanced understanding of the biology of enhanced rectal transmission of HIV and the focused use of antiretrovirals for prevention with culturally-tailored approaches that address the potentiating social and behavioral factors associated with enhanced HIV spread among MSM.
doi:10.1097/QAI.0b013e318298700e
PMCID: PMC3740716  PMID: 23764630
Men who have sex with men; Transgender Women; HIV Prevention; HIV Transmission
4.  Addressing HIV prevention research priorities in the United States 
More than half a million Americans became newly infected with HIV in the first decade of the new millennium. The domestic epidemic has had the heaviest impact on men who have sex with men (MSM) and people from racial and ethnic minority populations, particularly African-Americans. For example, Black MSM represent <1% of the U.S. population but 25% of the new HIV cases, as per CDC estimates published in 2008. While Black and Hispanic women constitute 24% of all U.S. women, they accounted for 82% of HIV cases in women in 2005, based on data from 33 states with confidential name-based reporting. There is a nearly 23-fold higher rate of AIDS diagnoses for Black women (45.5/100,000 women) and nearly 6-fold higher rate for Hispanic women (11.2/100,000) compared to the rate for white women (2.0/100,000). Investigators from the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), an NIH-sponsored collaborative clinical trials group, have crafted a domestic research agenda with community input. Two new domestic studies are in progress (2009) and a community-based clinical trial feasibility effort is in development (2010 start date). These studies focus on outreach, testing, and treatment of infected persons as a backbone for HIV prevention. Reaching persons not receiving health message and service with novel approaches to both prevention and care/treatment is an essential priority for HIV control in the U.S.; our research is designed to guide the best approaches and assess the impact of bridging treatment and prevention.
doi:10.1086/651485
PMCID: PMC2862583  PMID: 20397942
HIV; prevention; United States; homosexual; women; transmission; antiretroviral treatment; black; Hispanic
5.  Rapid HIV Testing in Transgender Communities by Community-Based Organizations in Three Cities 
Public Health Reports  2008;123(Suppl 3):101-114.
SYNOPSIS
Objectives.
This article describes the demographic and behavioral characteristics, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing history, and results of HIV testing of transgender (TG) people recruited for rapid HIV testing by -community-based organizations (CBOs) in three cities.
Methods.
CBOs in Miami Beach, Florida, New York City, and San Francisco offered TG people rapid HIV testing and prevention services, and conducted a brief survey. Participants were recruited in outreach settings using various strategies. The survey collected information on demographic characteristics, HIV risk behaviors, and HIV testing history.
Results.
Among 559 male-to-female (MTF) TG participants, 12% were newly diagnosed with HIV infection. None of the 42 female-to-male participants were newly diagnosed with HIV. A large proportion of MTF TG participants reported high-risk behaviors in the past year, including 37% who reported unprotected receptive anal intercourse and 44% who reported commercial sex work. Several factors were independently associated with increased likelihood of being newly diagnosed with HIV infection among MTF TG participants, including having a partner of unknown HIV status in the past year; being 20–29 or ≥40 years of age; having last been tested for HIV more than 12 months ago; and having been recruited at the New York City site.
Conclusions.
Based on the high proportion of undiagnosed HIV infection among those tested, TG people represent an important community for enhanced HIV testing and prevention efforts. MTF TG people should be encouraged to have an HIV test at least annually or more often if indicated, based upon clinical findings or risk behaviors. Efforts should continue for developing novel strategies to overcome barriers and provide HIV testing and prevention services to TG people.
PMCID: PMC2567010  PMID: 19166094

Results 1-5 (5)