Drs. Gregory Phillips II, Director of the Evaluation, Data Integration, and Technical Assistance Program, and Amy Johnson launched a pilot project to determine if diffusion of information in networks of men who have sex with men (MSM) would increase awareness and acceptability of meningitis vaccine programs. Funded by the Third Coast Center for AIDS Research, this project was launched in response to the active meningitis outbreak happening across the United States in major metropolitan areas, including Chicago. This study is focused on the three populations most impacted by the meningitis outbreak in Chicago – young MSM, Black MSM, and HIV-positive MSM.
Specifically, this project will:
- Convene focus groups with members of the target populations in order to understand barriers to and facilitators of awareness and uptake of the meningitis vaccine.
- Collect quantitative data on knowledge and awareness of meningitis and the vaccine within a subset of YMSM enrolled in RADAR.
- Seek federal funding in order to develop an intervention to increase meningitis vaccination rates among members of the target populations, in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health.