Although strides have been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS in recent years, infection rates continue to climb for certain populations. Last year, the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reported that among young males between 13 and 29, rates of HIV infection increased by 9 percent. Seventy-five percent of these cases involved men who have sex with men (MSM).
Hoping to better understand the developmental pathways of this population of young MSM and the specific risk factors for HIV infection, researchers at the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) at New York University are embarking on a three-year longitudinal study of the behavioral choices of young MSM. The $2.9 million study is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health. The research grant will be administered through NYUs Institute of Human Development and Social Change.
According to Perry Halkitis, director of CHIBPS and professor of applied psychology and public health at NYU Steinhardt, emergent adulthood is a period of time when young gay men are highly vulnerable not only to HIV infection but also to hepatitis B and C, syphilis, gonorrhea, and drug use. He adds, Young gay men may be more at risk in part due to the stigma and discrimination that they face.
The study, called P18 (Project
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