Iteratively Developing an mHealth HIV Prevention Program for Sexual Minority Adolescent Men

AIDS Behav. 2016 Jun;20(6):1157-72. doi: 10.1007/s10461-015-1146-3.


Five activities were implemented between November 2012 and June 2014 to develop an mHealth HIV prevention program for adolescent gay, bisexual, and queer men (AGBM): (1) focus groups to gather acceptability of the program components; (2) ongoing development of content; (3) Content Advisory Teams to confirm the tone, flow, and understandability of program content; (4) an internal team test to alpha test software functionality; and (5) a beta test to test the protocol and intervention messages. Findings suggest that AGBM preferred positive and friendly content that at the same time, did not try to sound like a peer. They deemed the number of daily text messages (i.e., 8-15 per day) to be acceptable. The Text Buddy component was well received but youth needed concrete direction about appropriate discussion topics. AGBM determined the self-safety assessment also was acceptable. Its feasible implementation in the beta test suggests that AGBM can actively self-determine their potential danger when participating in sexual health programs. Partnering with the target population in intervention development is critical to ensure that a salient final product and feasible protocol are created.

Keywords: Adolescents; Gay and bisexual; HIV; Intervention development; Sexual minority; mHealth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Focus Groups
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Program Development*
  • Reproductive Health
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities / psychology*
  • Telemedicine*
  • Text Messaging