To overcome the unique challenges faced by a growing segment of the HIV-positive population—young men of color who have sex with men (YMSM of Color)—novel intervention strategies for providing HIV testing, medical care, and prevention services were recently evaluated. The innovative outreach and treatment models derived from the YMSM of Color Initiative are presented in a special supplement issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The supplement is available free online.
Melinda Tinsley, MA and Jessica Xavier, MPH, of the U.S. Health Resources and Service Administration (HRSA), which funded the YMSM of Color Initiative, coauthored the opening article which describes the initiative and defines its three main goals: outreach to help HIV-infected persons learn their HIV status; access by HIV-infected persons to medical care; and prevention of HIV transmission.
The supplement includes articles that provide epidemiologic data on YMSM of Color, discuss sexual behaviors and risk factors for HIV infection in this population, and describe the clinical characteristics of their disease at time of diagnosis and patterns of antiretroviral medication use. Other reports focus on the roles and challenges of outreach workers in HIV clinical and support programs serving the minority YMSM population, efforts to support linkage to and retention in care, and racial and sexual identity-related maltreatment among minority YMSM. The YMSM of Color Initiative is a Special Project of National Significance (SPNS) of HRSA.