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AIDS Care. 2012;24(7):910-20. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2011.647677. Epub 2012 Jan 24.

HealthMpowerment.org: feasibility and acceptability of delivering an internet intervention to young Black men who have sex with men.

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  • 1Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, UNC School of Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. lisa_hightow@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Young Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS in the USA and continue to experience rapidly increasing HIV incidence. We designed a tailored, theory-based interactive HIV/STI prevention website for young BMSM, called HealthMpowerment.org (HMP) and conducted a small pilot trial comparing HMP to currently available HIV/STI websites. We present findings demonstrating feasibility and acceptability of delivering the intervention to the target population of young BMSM. Retention rates were 90% and 78% at one- and three-month follow-ups, respectively. Evaluation immediately after the intervention's completion revealed that participants who used the HMP website reported high levels of user satisfaction and interest and low levels of website difficulty and frustration. At the end of the intervention, there was a trend in increased behavioral intentions to use condoms and engage in preparatory condom use behaviors in the intervention group compared to the control group (p=0.10). We observed a reduction in mean scores on the CES-D scale among those in the intervention group that was not seen in the control group at the one-month follow-up, though this was not statistically significant. Feedback from exit interviews with study participants suggested that HMP is relevant to the prevention needs of young BMSM. Overall, the findings support the acceptability and feasibility of delivering this prevention program to a group that has few interventions despite bearing a significant burden of the epidemic. Future trials, combining Internet and mobile phone technologies, are planned to test HMP among larger and more diverse populations of young BMSM.

PMID:
22272759
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3358439
Free PMC Article
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