Adolescent men who have sex with men (AMSM) are facing increasing incidence of HIV and account for almost 70% of new HIV diagnoses among young people in the US, with most transmission occurring through condomless sex. At the same time, the majority of prevention programs focus primarily on adults. The majority of program that are tailored to youth are heterosexual focused.
To fill this gap, we developed Guy2Guy (G2G), a text messaging-based HIV prevention program tailored to the unique needs of adolescent men 14-18 years of age across the US. Content was developed iteratively, including focus groups, a Content Advisory Team, and a beta test. The program is comprised of six weeks of text messaging content guided by the Information-Motivation-Behavior (IMB) model. Topics include: HIV transmission and prevention information, social norms about HIV prevention and attitudes toward condom use, correct condom use steps, HIV testing, communication skills, and healthy and unhealthy relationships. In addition to receiving messages aimed at increasing safe sex behavior, intervention participants also had real-time access to peer-based support (i.e., a Text Buddy) and on-demand information about HIV-prevention related topics, such as how to end a relationship healthfully (i.e., G2Genie). The program was evaluated for feasibility and acceptability, along with preliminary indications of efficacy in a pilot randomized controlled trial conducted with over 300 AMSM.
This study was conducted in partnership with the IMPACT Program at Northwestern University.