HOPE Social Media Intervention for HIV Testing and Studying Social Networks

Principal Investigator: Sean Young

Funding Agency: National Institute for Mental Health R01

This project is a second effectiveness trial of the Harnessing Online Peer Education (HOPE) social media intervention to increase HIV self-testing among African American and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM), and to analyze the changing social network characteristics of participants in this intervention. With the recent increase in social media usage among African American and Latino MSM, social media and online social networks such as Facebook provide opportunities to efficiently and cost-effectively deliver evidenced-based, peer-led HIV prevention interventions. This intervention uses home-based HIV testing integrated into an online HIV prevention intervention to allow participants to anonymously test for HIV without risking the stigmatization. Results from the Los Angeles HOPE pilot study have already demonstrated a) the feasibility and acceptability of using social networking technologies to deliver peer-led HIV prevention among African American and Latino MSM, b) interest in home-based HIV testing among these populations, and c) the relationship between social network dynamics and HIV prevention behavior change.