NIH awards $9M to research team studying HIV prevention intervention for men

The National Institutes of Health awarded a research team from Philadelphia-based Penn Nursing, Ann Arbor-based University of Michigan School of Nursing and Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health in Atlanta a $9 million grant to study HIV prevention intervention for adolescent males.

The intervention is called iCON, and it builds on an Herb Ritts Foundation initiative. It aims to address the increasing disparity in new HIV cases among adolescent men. The intervention will offer life skills training and community-based HIV prevention resources through an online application.

The research team will use the grant money to test iCON’s efficacy in 600 gay and bisexual adolescent men across the United States. The intervention will include 16 life skills modules including legal advice and safer sex education.

"At a time in the United States when new HIV diagnoses are declining among most groups, new infections in young gay and bisexual men continue to rise," said study co-lead Patrick Sullivan, PhD, DVM, professor of epidemiology at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health in a statement. "It is critical that we develop new and scalable interventions for these young men."

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