Enhancing HIV prevention among young men who have sex with men: A systematic review of HIV behavioral interventions for young gay and bisexual men


Men who have sex with men (MSM) represent 64.0% of people living with HIV (PLWH) over the age of 13 years. Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) are particularly affected by HIV/AIDS; the rate of HIV infection for YMSM between the ages of 13 and 24 represents 72.0% of new infections among youth. To understand the current state of the science meant to prevent HIV for YMSM, we reviewed studies of HIV behavioral prevention interventions for YMSM. Five literature databases were searched, from their inception through October 2015, using key words associated with HIV prevention intervention evaluation studies for YMSM. The review criteria included behavioral HIV/AIDS prevention interventions, articles published in English-language peer-reviewed journals, YMSM between 13 and 24 years of age, and longitudinal repeated measures design. A total of 15 YMSM behavioral HIV prevention intervention studies were identified that met inclusion criteria and reported statistically significant findings. Common outcomes included unprotected sexual intercourse, HIV/AIDS risk behavior, condom use, HIV testing, safer sex attitude, and HIV prevention communication. Participant age, representation of Black/African American YMSM, application of theoretical and model underpinnings, congruence of assessment measures used, follow-up assessment times, and application of process evaluation were inconsistent across studies. To advance HIV prevention intervention research for YMSM, future studies should be theory-based, identify common constructs, utilize standard measures, include process evaluation, and evaluate sustained change over standard periods of time. HIV prevention interventions should incorporate the needs of the diverse, well-educated, web-connected millennial generation and differentiate between adolescent YMSM (13 to 18 years of age) and young adulthood YMSM (19 to 24 years of age). Because Black/African American YMSM represent more than 50% of new HIV infections, future HIV prevention intervention studies should prioritize these young men.


Hergenrather KC, Emmanuel D, Durant S, Rhodes SD.




  • Population(s)
    • Men who have sex with men
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention
    • Sexual risk behaviour
    • Drug use behaviours/harm reduction
    • Education/media campaigns


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