Project Overview +

This study builds on the Project Connect Health Systems Intervention, adapting and piloting an online intervention (CONNECT-YM) that increases YMSM's HIV/STI awareness, and helps them identify culturally-competent sexual health providers where they may test for HIV/STIs.

Related Media +

Related Media:

Aims +

Specific Aim 1. Examine the acceptability and feasibility of a tailored, web-based STI/HIV testing awareness intervention (CONNECT-YM) for YMSM in Southeast Michigan.

Specific Aim 2. Test whether the CONNECT-YM intervention increases YMSM's HIV/STI awareness and testing behaviors at 30-day follow-up, respectively, as compared to the control condition.

Participants +

This pilot study will enroll 180 young men who have sex with men in SE Michigan.

Intervention +

We develop a provider referral guide to link YMSM to culturally-competent community providers (Months 1-6).  In the first 2 months, we conduct an environmental scan of the local healthcare infrastructure in Southeast Michigan, identify key providers, and develop evaluation criteria to rate these providers' cultural competency when working with YMSM. Using these criteria, we then evaluate providers and develop a web-based referral guide for YMSM seeking STI screening and testing services (months 3-6). YMSM who use the provider guide fill out an online satisfaction evaluation after they have used a service in order to continuously update the online provider directory.

In addition to the guide, CONNECT-YM includes a tailored intervention with the goal of increasing YMSM's (1) STI/HIV Risk Awareness, and (2) Motivation to Test, respectively (months 1-6). We then conduct a brief usability evaluation and integrate YMSM's feedback into the system (month 7), and conduct a small pilot trial to assess feasibility and acceptability (months 8-9). At baseline assessment, YMSM are asked to complete a 10-minute survey focused on demographic questions, including age, race/ethnicity, and sexual identity; location; knowledge, attitudes, and norms regarding STI screening/treatment in SE MI; and self-efficacy and behavioral skills to access STI screening/treatment services, respectively. These constructs will not only help to provide tailored messages to YMSM, but also help to identify STI providers who may meet YMSM's specific individual needs. Finally, to facilitate YMSM's utilization of STI services, we provide them a tailored list of questions they should ask the provider during their appointment. Participants may choose to save or print the page, or they may choose to have the provider information and tailored list of questions emailed or text messaged to them. 

Get Connected: STD prevention among young men who use the e-technologies (phones, websites) to meet partners

01/02/2013 - 09/29/2013


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Association of County and City Health Officials

Principal Investigator:

Jose Bauermeister, PhD, MPH