Revitalizing HIV Prevention Programs: Recommendations From Those Most Impacted by HIV in the Deep South

Am J Health Promot. 2022 Jan;36(1):155-164. doi: 10.1177/08901171211041097. Epub 2021 Aug 19.


Purpose: The incidence of new HIV infections is disproportionately high among Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) in Mississippi. Community-based organizations received funding through the ACCELERATE! initiative to implement interventions aimed at increasing BMSM's access to HIV prevention, treatment and care interventions.

Approach: We conducted a mixed methods evaluation of the ACCELERATE! initiative to assess its impact. We also explored factors that act as barriers to and facilitators of BMSM's engagement in HIV prevention interventions.

Setting: Interviews were conducted between July 2018 and February 2020.

Participants: Thirty-six BMSM and 13 non-grantee key informants who worked in the field of HIV in Mississippi participated.

Method: The qualitative data from the interview transcripts was analyzed using an iterative, inductive coding process.

Results: We identified 10 key recommendations that were most common across all participants and that were aligned with UNAIDS Global AIDS Strategy strategic priorities. Several recommendations address the reduction of HIV- and LGBT-stigma. Two of the most common recommendations were to increase representation of the target population in health promotion program leadership and to include HIV with other Black health issues in community-based health education programs rather than singling it out. Another recommendation called for programs aimed at addressing underlying factors associated with HIV-risk behaviors, such as mental illness.

Conclusion: Our results indicate that HIV education interventions in the Deep South need to be revitalized to enhance their reach and effectiveness.

Keywords: Deep South; HIV prevention; health disparities; health promotion; qualitative research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome*
  • Black or African American
  • HIV Infections* / prevention & control
  • Homosexuality, Male
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexual and Gender Minorities*