Young men who have sex with men (MSM) are disproportionately affected by HIV, but most HIV prevention programs are designed for adult MSM or heterosexual youth. Additionally, young men who identify as bisexual (or who use a similar label, such as pansexual; collectively referred to as bi+) have been underrepresented in HIV research. Given that bisexuality is highly stigmatized and that stigma-related stressors (e.g., concerns about disclosing one’s bi+ identity) can influence risk behavior and healthcare utilization, research is needed to understand the unique experiences of bi+ male youth and their implications for HIV prevention.
To address this, the goals of the Bi+ Youth Project are to:
- Understand factors that drive engagement in HIV risk behavior and substance use among bi+ male youth.
- Develop and pilot test an HIV and substance use prevention program for this population.
These goals will be accomplished in two phases. First, we will conduct interviews with 60 racially/ethnically diverse bi+ male youth (ages 14-17) focused on their sexual identity, sexual decision-making, motivations for substance use, and intervention preferences. Then, we will develop an HIV and substance use prevention program tailored to their unique needs and pilot test its feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy in a separate sample of 60 bi+ male youth.