MSM - Men who have Sex with Men


68% of RW clients are gay/bi/msm men, 51% live below the poverty level, 90% are virally suppressed, 41% are aged 50+

MSM comprise the majority of HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S., representing over half of those infected with HIV/AIDS. In 2022, among MSM getting medical care from the RWHAP, 90.2% achieved viral suppression. These rates varied across MSM populations, particularly MSM with unstable housing and younger MSM. 

Best Practices

  • SPNS Black MSM Initiative
    Resources to facilitate the replication or adaption of successful interventions for engaging Black MSM in HIV care.
  • Center for Innovation and Engagement
    Collection of implementation guides on evidence-informed best practices in HIV care delivery.
  • AIDS Action Foundation

    Workbooks describing ways to help connect people living with HIV/AIDS to medical care. Estos cuadernos describen la manera de asistir a conectar personas que viven con VIH/SIDA con el sistema médico.  

  • IHIP
    Components of an intervention focused on BMSM with HIV who have not yet been successfully maintained in care.
  • SPNS Latino Access Initiative, UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies

    Monographs describing interventions for the engagement and retention of Latinos in HIV care.

  • SPNS Social Media Initiative

    Social media tools developed by demonstration sites (e.g., text messaging, apps).


    Ideas for RWHAP Part B/ADAPs to support access to medications and tailor related services for Black/African American men living with HIV.

  • Best Practices Compilation
    +LOVE is an integrated case management intervention with behavioral health and crisis support to enhance and improve HIV care and outcomes for Black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. An evaluation of +LOVE showed improvements in retention in care.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    2BU is a case management intervention designed to engage and reengage Black men who have sex with men with HIV into HIV care services. Peer case managers work closely with clients to increase HIV health literacy, troubleshoot accessibility issues to HIV care, and connect clients directly to behavioral health and support services. Clients who participated in 2BU had increased retention in care and viral suppression 12 months after enrollment.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    E-VOLUTION is a two-way text messaging intervention, originally developed by Washington University School of Medicine and piloted at Project ARK. The intervention focuses on improving health outcomes for youth, particularly young Black men who have sex with men. E-VOLUTION was designed for people ages 18-29 who have HIV and are receiving clinical care but require support to remain adherent. E-VOLUTION was evaluated and found to improve viral suppression and retention in care rates.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    Enlaces Por La Salud is an HIV linkage, navigation, and education program for Mexican men and transgender women. The intervention is grounded in a transnational framework for providing cultural context to support the delivery of one-on-one educational sessions to Latina(o/x) people with a new HIV diagnosis, as well as people with HIV who are not yet retained in care. After 12 months, the majority of people participating in Enlaces Por La Salud were retained in care and reached viral suppression.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    ERASE was developed to address the unique needs of Black MSM. Through an intensive case management intervention, peer case managers provide health education and wellness support, and connect clients to medical and behavioral healthcare. ERASE also offers a physical “safe space” for Black MSM to meet with a case manager, access medical services, or connect with peers. Enrollment in ERASE improved retention in HIV care for clients.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    A broad population of men who have sex with men (MSM) reached viral suppression through intensive case management by applying tools and lessons learned in the Center for Quality Improvement Innovation end+disparities ECHO Collaborative.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    The PC4H initiative employs a mobile app and a digital literacy workshop to improve engagement, retention in care, and medication adherence for young people with HIV. These strategies aim to reach young people who are disproportionately affected by HIV, including young men who have sex with men, young transgender women, and youth of color, with a focus on serving people who know their status but are inconsistently engaged in care. Developed by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Philadelphia FIGHT, PC4H was evaluated through the RWHAP Part F SPNS Social Media Initiative. The evaluation found that PC4H had positive impacts on retention in care and viral suppression.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    Project CONNECT uses linkage coordinators to effectively engage people in HIV medical care. It focuses on people with newly diagnosed HIV or people with HIV who are transferring their care or have been out of care. AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland implemented Project CONNECT as part of E2i, an initiative funded by the RWHAP Part F SPNS program from 2017–2021. Project CONNECT was successful in increasing the number of clients retained in HIV care and who reached viral suppression.
  • Evidence-Informed Interventions (E2i)
    Project CONNECT is an evidence-informed intervention that engages Black men who have sex with men with HIV into medical care through early orientation to the clinic, relationship building, and enhanced personal contact.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    Project nGage is a support intervention approach that offers participants an initial 90-minute session with a social work interventionist and a participant support confidant to develop a tailored care and support plan. The social work interventionist then offers four follow-up sessions to each participant to discuss progress on the care and support plan. Project nGage was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial from 2012 to 2015: participants in the intervention were more likely to have at least three HIV primary care visits in the last 12 months than those who received usual care.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    STYLE 2.0 is a multi-component intervention designed to help reduce stigma and social isolation for Black gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. The intervention relies on health care navigators who facilitate linkage and engagement activities. They also connect clients to behavioral health providers who conduct motivational interviewing, as well as to a mobile application that supports all intervention activities. STYLE 2.0 participation has been associated with positive trends across HIV care continuum outcomes, including retention in care and increased viral suppression.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    Project Vogue provided community-based care coordination, HIV care, and behavioral health services to Black men who have sex with men (MSM) within New York City’s House & Ball community to address the unique cultural barriers that Black MSM experience when trying to access care. Project Vogue participants were linked to behavioral health services as well as to non-clinical supportive services, such as food and housing assistance.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    Stronger Together uses counseling to increase engagement in and improve the quality of HIV care available for serodiscordant male couples. Through three in-person and additional “booster” sessions over an 18-month period, Stronger Together gave couples a space to work with an HIV professional to improve treatment adherence and keep both people healthy. Stronger Together participants were more likely to adhere to ART than those in a control group.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    Tailored Motivational Interviewing (TMI) delivers brief motivational interviewing counseling sessions customized to encourage people with HIV to engage in HIV care, take HIV medications as prescribed, and improve other health-related behaviors. Three sites implemented TMI as part of E2i, an initiative funded by the RWHAP Part F SPNS program from 2017 to 2021. Clients who participated in TMI had significant improvement in engagement in care, prescription of antiretroviral therapy, retention in care, and viral suppression.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    The Text Messaging Intervention to Improve Antiretroviral Adherence among HIV-Positive Youth (TXTXT) is designed to keep young people, particularly young, Black, gay, bisexual, same-gender loving, and other men who have sex with men, engaged in HIV medical care, by delivering personalized, daily, interactive text messages that remind them to take their antiretroviral therapy as prescribed. Two sites implemented TXTXT as part of E2i, an initiative funded by the RWHAP Part F SPNS program from 2017–2021. The intervention resulted in a statistically significant improvement in engagement in HIV care.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    The Village Project is an intensive case management-based intervention that harnesses peer navigation and integrated behavioral health services to improve the health outcomes of young Black gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men. The Village Project was associated with increased retention in care and viral suppression.
  • Best Practices Compilation
    In weCare, a cyber health educator sent personalized messages through text, web-based apps, and Facebook to enrolled youth who identified as gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men (MSM), or transgender women, and who either had a new diagnosis of HIV or were not in care at the time of enrollment. Messages were personalized to each participant’s needs and were designed to support them as they navigated complicated health care systems as well as other challenges that affect care engagement (e.g., transportation, disclosure). The cyber health educator also moderated and posted information about health and well-being on an optional secret Facebook page that some participants chose to join. Participants were less likely to miss medical appointments and more likely to be virally suppressed after 12 months of the intervention.


Conference Presentations

Hawaii State Department of Health
Fenfang Li, Timothy J McCormick, Alan R Katz, Alan Komeya, Katherine Sung, Gerald Hasty, Glenn M Wasserman
2022 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment
Alex Keuroghlian, Nicole Chavis, Beth Bourdeau, Demetrios Psihopaidas
2022 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment
NORC at the University of Chicago
David Rein, Savyasachi Shah, Benjamin Reist, Andrew Chiao, Jared Sawyer
2022 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment
NORC at the University of Chicago
Chandria Jones, Kimberly Kisler, Sara LeGrand
2022 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment
University of Kentucky
Jim Thacker, Chelsey Reid
2022 National Ryan White Conference on HIV Care & Treatment

Technical Assistance

  • TA/training for RWHAP agencies to improve the quality of HIV/AIDS care they provide. Project period: 2020-2024.

  • Clinician consultation on HCV management, HIV management, perinatal HIV/AIDS, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post-exposure prophylaxis, substance use. Project period: 2016-2025.

  • ELEVATE will prepare people with HIV to meaningfully engage and take on leadership roles in planning bodies, advocacy actions, and the HIV workforce. Project period: 2020-2024.

  • ESCALATE will focus on reducing HIV stigma through training participants in EHE jurisdictions. Project period: 2020-2024.

  • The NHC provides ongoing, up-to-date information needed to meet the core competency knowledge for HIV prevention, screening, diagnosis, and ongoing treatment and care to healthcare providers in the United States. Project period: 2020-2022.
  • Initiative documenting best practice strategies and interventions that have been shown to improve HIV outcomes in a "real world" setting and can be replicated by other programs. Project period: 2021-2024.
  • Interactive data tool to visualize the reach, impact, and outcomes of the RWHAP. HRSA offers office hours and webinars to help use the tool.
  • HRSA SPNS project applying the implementation science framework to identify innovative HIV interventions for three priority populations (people with substance use disorder, sexual minority youth, people involved in criminal justice system) and use of telehealth. Project period: 2021-2025.

Upcoming Events