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AIDS Care. 2018;30(sup4):51-58. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2018.1527007. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Brothers Building Brothers by Breaking Barriers: development of a resilience-building social capital intervention for young black gay and bisexual men living with HIV.

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a Hubert Department of Global Health , Emory University Rollins School of Public Health , Atlanta , GA , USA.
b Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education , Emory University Rollins School of Public Health , Atlanta , GA , USA.
c Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases , Emory University School of Medicine , Atlanta , GA , USA.
d Department of Health Behavioral and Health Education , University of Michigan School of Public Health , Ann Arbor , MI , USA.


Young Black gay/bisexual and other men who have sex with men (YB-GBMSM) are disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. Novel intervention strategies are needed to optimize engagement in HIV care for this population. We sought to develop a group-level intervention to enhance resilience by augmenting social capital (defined as the sum of resources in an individual's social network) among YB-GBMSM living with HIV, with the ultimate goal of improving engagement in HIV care. Our multiphase, community-based participatory research (CBPR) intervention development process included: (1) Development and maintenance of a youth advisory board (YAB) comprised of YB-GBMSM living with HIV; (2) Qualitative in-depth interviews with YB-GBMSM living with HIV; (3) Qualitative in-depth interviews with care and service providers at clinics and community-based organizations; and (4) Collaborative development of intervention modules and activities with our YAB, informed by social capital theory and our formative research results. The result of this process is Brothers Building Brothers By Breaking Barriers, a two-day, 10-module group-level intervention. The intervention does not focus exclusively on HIV, but rather takes a holistic approach to supporting youth and enhancing resilience. Intervention modules aim to develop resilience at the individual level (exploration of black gay identity, development of critical self-reflection and coping skills), social network level (exploring strategies for navigating family and intimate relationships) and community level (developing strategies for navigating clinical spaces and plans for community participation). Most intervention activities are interactive, in order to facilitate new social network connections - and accompanying social capital - within intervention groups. In summary, our intensive CBPR approach resulted in a novel, culturally-specific intervention designed to enhance HIV care engagement by augmenting resilience and social capital among YB-GBMSM living with HIV.


HIV/AIDS; resilience; social capital; youth

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