Current Research Studies

Title: Syndemic Production Among Emergent Adult Men

NameProject 18 (P18)

Funder: National Institute on Drug Abuse/ National Institutes of Health

Dates: 3/1/2009-2/28/2014; 3/1/2014-2/28/2019

Principal Investigator: Perry Halkitis, PhD, MPH

Description: This longitudinal study follows the development of syndemics in a cohort of urban HIV-negative young men who have sex with men in New York City as they transition from adolescence into young adulthood, and apply, test, and further develop a theory of syndemic production to understand the development of both maladaptive and adaptive behavioral outcomes.

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Title: Project 18 (P18) Neighborhood Study
Funder: National Instituteon Mental Health / National Institutes of Health
Dates: 4/01/2016 - 3/31/2018
Principal Investigators: Dustin Duncan, ScD
Co-Investigators: Perry Halkitis,PhD, MPH & Rumi Chunara, PhD
Description: This project seeks to investigate spatial mobility across neighborhoods as well as relationships between Global Positioning System (GPS)-defined activity space neighborhoods and HIV risk among young men who have sex with men (MSM) in the New York City metropolitan area, through the use of innovative methodological approaches including real-time geospatial methods and geo-located Twitter posts. We will randomly enroll 250 young MSM in the NIH-funded P18 Cohort Study in the proposed study to address the aims of the research. Eligibility requirements include report having had sex with another male in the past 6 months; HIV-seronegative; self-report no restrictions to usual physical activity; and willingness to complete a two-week GPS protocol. Participants will wear the GPS device following protocols we have used in our previous feasibility research projects. Findings from the proposed research will impact HIV prevention intervention activities. First, this research will inform specific neighborhood-level policy interventions. For example, increasing community efforts to combat lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) hate crime neighborhood rates through increased local police attention in high-crime locations may be an HIV prevention intervention. Second, given that we will know the travel patterns of young MSM, we can identify geographic locations for HIV testing/prevention interventions, which is an advancement of the literature as such interventions are not often spatially targeted. Finally, this research will also facilitate identifying geographic locations for recruiting young MSM in research studies (an improved method of venue-based sampling), in this understudied group. 

Title: Project P18 Viral
Funder: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease/National institutes of Health
Dates: 9/1-15-8/31/16
Principal Investigators: Farzana Kapadia, PhD, MPH & Danielle C. Ompad, PhD
Description: This ancillary study of HPV and HSV-1 and -2 infection as part of the P18 Cohort Study of racially/ethnically and socioeconomically diverse YMSM seek to (1) to detect cases of oral and anal HPV infection through site-specific PCR testing and clinically significant HPV subtype through serotyping and to estimate HPV persistence and clearance rates; (2) to identify uptake and completion of HPV vaccination via a combination of self-reported vaccination history in addition to New York State HPV vaccine registry verification; (3) to determine the prevalence and incidence of HSV-1 and HSV-2 by serology;  (4)  to  estimate HIV risk among YMSM with and without HSV-1 and/or HSV-2 and to assess whether HSV infection explains racial/ethnic disparities in HIV risk; and (5) to determine the extent to which biological, behavioral, psychosocial and social/structural factors explain the likelihood of (a) oral/anal HPV infection, broadly and infection of HPV 6, 11, 16, and 18, specifically; (b) HPV vaccination uptake, (c) HSV-1 and HSV-2 infection, and (d) co-infections of HIV, HSV, and/or HPV.

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Title: Out in Time: Gay Men Coming of Age Across the Generations

Principal Investigators: Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Start Date: 9/1/2016

Description: This qualitative study examines the lived experiences of three generations of young gay men as they came of age within the socio-political contexts of their times. In-depth interviews will explore how those experiences have shaped their lives thus far, and identify those challenges that are specific to each generation, as well as those that are universal for all generations of young gay men as they come of age.

Title: Understanding the Barriers and Facilitators to Health Care Access among Young Gay Men

Principal Investigators: Perry N Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH & Farzana Kapadia, PhD, MPH

Funder: New York State AIDS Institute, New York State Department of Health

Dates: 4/1/2015-4/30/2016

Description: This mixed-methods study seeks to more fully explicate the dynamics associated with accessing care among YMSM. We will (1) identify the extent to which YMSM have access to health care facilities that serve the LGBT population; (2) disentangle the roles that sexual orientation and sexual behavior may play in preventing the access of consistent and appropriate care for YMSM; (3) delineate the patterns by which YMSM

Title: Understanding the Barriers and Facilitators to Health Care Access among Young Lesbians

Principal Investigators: Perry N Halkitis,PhD, MS, MPH & Farzana Kapadia,PhD, MPH

Dates: 5/15/2016-9/1/2016

Description: This quantitative study seeks to more fully explicate the dynamics associated with accessing care among YWSW. We will (1) identify the extent to which YWSW have access to health care facilities that serve the LGBT population; (2) disentangle the roles that sexual orientation and sexual behavior may play in preventing the access of consistent and appropriate care of YWSW; (3) delineate the patterns by which YWSW.


Title: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Uptake and Adherence Among male Sex Workers in Mombassa, Kenya

Funder: MAC AIDS Fund

Dates: 4/01/2016–3/31/2018

Principal Investigator: Peter Navario & Farzana Kapadia, PhD, MPH

Co-Investigator: Perry Halkitis, PhD, MPH

Description: HealthRight International and the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) will evaluate the efficacy and feasibility of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infections in a population of male sex workers (MSW) in eastern Kenya. This project aims to be among the first to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability and impact of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) on HIV risk among male sex workers (MSW) in Malindi, Kenya. This project will integrate PrEP into three existing health facilities serving sex workers in Malindi in order to document and analyze its impact on HIV incidence, as well as PrEP uptake, adherence, side effects, cost and other factors that may influence replication and scalability of this potentially transformational intervention. 


Title: Shabaab Study

Start Date: 10/15/2016

Principal Investigator: Paul Brown, MA

Co-Investigator: Perry Halkitis, PhD, MPH

Description: The purpose of this pilot study is to learn more about the experiences of Arab men who have sex with men (MSM) in the United States; to survey and measure encounters with racism, ethnic and/or religious based discrimination and homophobia; and to find whether these experiences are associated with sexual risk behavior. Several research studies have shown associations between racial and ethnic discrimination, homophobia and sexual risk among other racial ethnic minority MSM in the U.S. However these associations have not yet been explored among Arab MSM. This pilot study seeks to shed light on a sorely understudied population.