The Mpowerment Project: a community-level HIV prevention intervention for young gay men

Am J Public Health. 1996 Aug;86(8):1129-36. doi: 10.2105/ajph.86.8_pt_1.1129.


Objectives: Since young gay men are engaging in alarmingly high rates of unsafe sex and few seek help for changing risky behaviors, community-level programs to prevent infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among them are urgently needed.

Methods: We developed and implemented a community-level HIV prevention program in a midsized Oregon community. The peer-led program had three components: out-reach, small groups, and a publicity campaign. Independently from the prevention program, a cohort of young gay men (n = 300) was surveyed in this and in a similar comparison community pre- and postintervention.

Results: Following intervention, the proportion of men engaging in any unprotected anal intercourse decreased from 41.0% to 30.0% (-27% from baseline), decreased from 20.2% to 11.1% (-45% from baseline) with nonprimary partners, and decreased from 58.9% to 44.7% (-24% from baseline) with boyfriends. No significant changes occurred in the comparison community over the same period.

Conclusions: This prevention approach effectively led to HIV risk reduction. To reach risk-taking young gay men, HIV prevention activities must be embedded in social activities and community life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group*
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Education / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires