The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has extended funding through 2022 for Together 5000 (T5K), a nationwide HIV prevention study led by Dr. Christian Grov of the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) and the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH).
Since the initial two-year award, Dr. Grov’s research team has established a cohort of over 8,000 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-negative gay and bisexual men who are not on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and at high risk for HIV acquisition, representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Participants complete annual online surveys and self-administer HIV tests in their homes. Continued funding for this study for an additional three years was contingent on achieving a series of stringent transition milestones with regard to the sample size, racial and age diversity, and follow-up retention of the cohort that were required to be achieved within the first two years. Greater than half of the participants in the cohort are racial and ethnic minorities, and a quarter of the sample is under the age of 25 — two groups that have been disproportionally impacted by HIV. Having met all of the milestones, Dr. Grov and his team have been awarded funding for the next three-year phase of the study.
This cohort study aims to improve HIV prevention and care for gay and bisexual men using knowledge gained from large-scale technology-mediated epidemiological cohort studies. Gay and bisexual men account for nearly two-thirds of new HIV diagnoses among men, with men of color impacted the most by the ongoing epidemic. HIV research in this population has traditionally focused on adults over the age of 18 even though many gay and bisexual men become sexually active around age 16.Friday Letter Submission, Publish on August 23