August 21, 2016
1 min read

Columbia researchers receive NIH grant for mobile HIV intervention

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Researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing were awarded a $7.9 million grant from the NIH to study their adaptation of an HIV prevention mobile app known as MyPEEPS, specifically developed for young men at risk for HIV, according to a press release.

In a 5-year, multisite clinical trial, the mobile app will be used to provide HIV prevention information through mobile phone technology to 700 diverse, high-risk, adolescent men who have sex with men. MyPEEPS is aimed at this population, according to the release, and uses a curriculum of six modules covering various topics such as stigma and shame, condom usage and tips on how to communicate about safer sex.

“Our aim is to provide this population with information to make better health decisions,” clinical trial investigator Rebecca Schnall, PhD, assistant professor at Columbia University School of Nursing, said in the release. “Young, diverse MSM are the most at-risk for HIV infection, and there is a dearth of evidence-based interventions targeting this community.”

The researchers hope to increase insight on how to reduce HIV among young, MSM in the United States, according to the release. The trial will be conducted in New York, Seattle, Chicago and Birmingham, Alabama.

“There is much evidence that mobile tech is a great way to connect with this generation and by meeting them where they are, we are hopeful about the intervention’s potential to decrease infections,” Schnall said.

Disclosure: Infectious Disease News was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.