Addressing the HIV epidemic among YMSM: The Care Continuum 2.0
Lisa Hightow-Weidman, M.D
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
While the epidemic of HIV in the US has leveled off for many age groups, from 2000-2010, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) more than doubled. The success of treatment as prevention in reducing the number of new HIV infections among youth, and particularly YMSM, relies on HIV testing, antiretroviral treatment (both for treatment and prevention), adherence and viral suppression among those with HIV. Technology-delivered interventions are well suited for youth given its modality, its suitability to deliver tailored content specific to each user’s HIV/AIDS risk behaviors and context, and its unique capability to diffuse HIV/AIDS prevention programs to large numbers of youth residing in numerous geographic locations. Dr. Hightow-Weidman will describe her work addressing gaps in the continuum of care for youth through novel technology-based interventions including those delivered using smartphones, applications “apps” and incorporating virtual reality avatars and game-based elements.