Acceptability and Feasibility of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) with YMSM


Funder: NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Protocol Chair: Sybil G. Hosek, PhD/ Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL
Protocol Co-Chair: Margo Bell, MD/Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL

Dr. Hosek is a clinical psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Dr. Hosek holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Community Psychology. Her research has focused on the psychological needs of minority adolescents and young adults living with HIV and the impact of these needs on their risk practices, health related and health seeking behavior (e.g. adherence). As a complement to her research activities, Dr. Hosek has been providing individual and group psychotherapy, substance abuse treatment to individuals living with HIV during the past ten years. Dr. Hosek has continued her commitment to HIV research in her role as co-chair of the Behavioral Leadership Group of the Adolescent Trial Network and as Principal Investigator in four ATN protocols.

Dr. Bell is the Medical Director of The Cook County Juvenile Detention Center and an Adolescent Medicine Senior Attending physician in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Stroger Hospital, which are agencies of the Cook County Bureau of Health Services, the safety net provider of care. She is the Principal Investigator for the Chicago HIV Risk Reduction Partnership for Youth, a project that began as a HRSA funded SPNS project and is now an ongoing project funded by the Chicago Department of Public Health and directs HIV outreach for adolescent medicine. Dr. Bell’s research over the last 10 years has involved both male and female adolescents and young adults with a focus on HIV prevention, risk reduction, VCT, outreach and linkages to care services.

Project Summary:

This project aims to assess the initial acceptability and feasibility of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). This exploratory mixed-methods research study combines an efficacious behavioral HIV prevention intervention, Many Men, Many Voices (3MV), with a biomedical intervention (PrEP) whose efficacy in this population has not yet been established. Participants will first complete the behavioral intervention and then will be randomly assigned to one of three arms: 1) daily Truvada as PrEP, 2) a placebo control, or 3) a “no pill” control. This study will also examine several of the specific components (e.g., recruitment and retention, adherence to protocol, behavioral disinhibition, etc.) required for launching a future full scale trial to examine the efficacy of PrEP as a prevention approach for YMSM at high risk of HIV infection.