New study at the University of Miami focusing on HIV prevention in gay and bisexual men

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Posted on October 9, 2012 - 11:37am by Sue.

All men have certain health risks. However, gay and bisexual men are vulnerable for an increased risk of specific health concerns. Sexually active gay and bisexual males are at increased risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted infections. Also, approximately 1 in 4 gay and bisexual men have experienced sexual abuse as children or adolescents1. Adult victims of abuse were more likely to report having multiple STIs than their non-abused peers and partaking in risky sexual behavior such as sex with multiple partners, unprotected sex, and having sex under the influence of drugs2.

These haunting statistics display the need for HIV prevention in the gay and bisexual community of Miami. That is the purpose of our study. Project Thrive is a new study being conducted by the University of Miami Department of Psychology, along with Harvard University. Thrive provides free and confidential therapy sessions which focus on reducing risk of HIV in at-risk populations of gay and bisexual men who have experienced sexual trauma and abuse. The goal of the study is to develop a holistic therapy to treat issues related to sexual abuse and to adult sexual health. We support individuals in making lasting behavior changes that will reduce their risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV and help them manage anxiety and trauma related to past abuse.

Many of these men cannot afford these much-needed mental health services so this is an excellent opportunity for them, as our study even reimburses participants up to $500 for ten sessions. If you are or know someone who is interested in participating in our study, please give them our contact information. This is an amazing opportunity for to work together to improve the health and well-being of members of sexual minorities, whose special needs and issues are often ignored.

Phone: 305 284 5299, Email: [email protected]1Fenway Health, 2American Journal of Public Health

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