A systematic review of interventions for young men who have sex with men and young transgender women living with HIV


Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) and young transgender women (YTGW) have unique challenges to HIV care. We conducted a systematic review to summarize behavioral and structural interventions exclusively targeting YMSM and YTGW living with HIV. We screened 6546 records published through August 19th, 2022 from six databases. For eligibility, studies needed to involve structural or behavioral interventions exclusively targeting YMSM and/or YTGW living with HIV or presenting disaggregated data in this group. Quality assessment was performed using the ICROMS checklist. Twenty studies from 18 interventions were included in the review. There was considerable heterogeneity in intervention characteristics, including population, location, content and format of the interventions and targeted outcomes. Half of the interventions were described as pilot studies, and all but one study was conducted in the United States. The most common outcomes included the HIV care continuum, followed by HIV knowledge and self-efficacy, HIV-risk behaviors and mental health. The evidence base remained sparse, and the results on effectiveness were inconsistent, with some interventions reporting improved outcomes among participants after receiving treatment and others not reporting any meaningful changes. Although there has been some progress in the development of interventions targeting this group, we highlighted several directions for future research. Interventions expanding to low-resource settings, addressing structural barriers, and targeting different aspects of health among participants are warranted. Rigorous studies with larger sample sizes that follow participants over longer periods are necessary to increase the strength of the evidence.


Nguyen MX, Li C, Muessig K, Gaynes BN, Go VF




  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • Transgender communities
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour
    • Drug use behaviours/harm reduction
  • Health Systems
    • Governance arrangements
    • Delivery arrangements


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