Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) of color are at particularly increased risk for HIV infection compared to white MSM. National data highlight the need to link YMSM of color to care to improve their overall health and stem further infections, yet, there is limited data on interventions and clinical outcomes focused on engaging and retaining youth, specifically HIV-infected YMSM of color in care. To address the medical care needs of this underserved population, in 2005, the Health Research and Services Administration (HRSA) created the YMSM of Color Initiative. Utilizing a social marketing campaign targeting youth and members of their sexual and social networks, testing and outreach on college campuses and within the broader community, and a tightly linked medical-social support network, we created STYLE (Strength Through Youth Livin' Empowered), a novel intervention that sought to diagnose, engage, and retain HIV-positive black and Latino YMSM in HIV primary care services. Over a 3-year period, 81 men were either newly diagnosed or reengaged in care. Overall, 63% of the cohort was retained in clinical care; defined as attending at least one medical visit every 4 months. Compared to the 3 years prior to STYLE, the odds ratio for whether or not someone attended a clinic visit was 2.58 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.34-4.98) if enrolled in STYLE. We conclude that compared to a pre-STYLE cohort, STYLE was an effective intervention that increased HIV diagnoses, provided efficient and timely engagement in care for both those newly diagnosed and those who had fallen out of care and improved overall retention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases