Monday, March 31, 2014

High Impact Prevention (HIP) and the Mpowerment Project

The NHAS is a call to action to better address HIV among gay and bisexual men (particularly among men of color), to concentrate on geographic areas consistent with the epidemic, and to expand HIV prevention with people living with HIV.

'High Impact Prevention' (HIP) includes increased HIV testing, Condom Distribution Projects (CDPs), as well as linkage into and maintenance in care for those living with HIV. The NHAS identifies combining social, behavioral, and biomedical approaches as having the greatest impact on HIV prevention.  It also recommends expanding access to HIV prevention services “with the greatest potential for population-level impact. 

After a careful analysis of the NHAS, 
we believe that the Mpowerment Project
is fully consistent with this strategy.

The Mpowerment Project is a combination approach to HIV prevention

CBOs implementing the Mpowerment Project (MP) combine social, behavioral, structural and biomedical HIV prevention in their programs. The methods MP uses to change social norms in a community about safer sex for HIV- and HIV+ men can also be utilized for regular and frequent HIV testing. These programs strategically distribute hundreds of thousands of condoms to young gay and bi men every year and create social norms that support condom use and safer sex.  MP Coordinators offer HIV testing services to their members and refer young men to appropriate HIV testing programs. HIV positive members are linked to care and find a supportive and welcoming home in MP.  

The MP’s adaptability and methods make it a promising approach to use to disseminate information and to mobilize men to learn more about promising new HIV prevention strategies such as PrEP, or future vaccines or microbicides.

Mpowerment YVR | Vancouver BC |

This community-level intervention has great potential for population-level impact

A 2004 analysis by the RAND Corporation found that the MP had the potential to cost-effectively prevent the largest number of new HIV infections compared to other approaches.  The MP is one of only a handful of evidence-based, community-level interventions, and is the only one that develops and brings relevant safer sex and HIV testing messages to the next generation of gay men. It mobilizes populations of young gay and bisexual men to perpetuate and reinforce safer behavior. 

RELATED:  Download Module 1: Mpowerment Overview.

The GMHC Crew | Mpowerment Fairfax VA

Mpowerment mobilizes gay and bisexual men of color

AIDS has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 gay and bisexual men in the U.S. Gay and bisexual men account for 53 percent of the country’s estimated 1.1 million people living with HIV and for 57% of all new HIV infections. One analysis predicts that a gay men who is 18 years old today faces a two in five chance of becoming infected with HIV by the time he is 40. High rates of HIV among gay/bi men are found in cities and towns of all sizes.  

The MP is one of only a few of evidence-based interventions for  gay/bi men, and it has been implemented by CBOs serving young African American and Latino MSM. The MP creates healthy communities of young gay/bi men, and puts HIV prevention into the context of young men’s lives. To address the HIV prevention needs of gay/bisexual men, the U.S. needs more Mpowerment Projects, not fewer of them.  

RELATEDThe Mpowerment Project: Gay, sex, and Black Affirming.
RELATED9 Latino Mpowerment Projects

M Society | Mpowerment Houston TX

Mpowerment reaches men living with HIV and HIV-negative men
The MP was designed to be a community mobilizing project for all young men in a community - young men living with HIV and HIV negative men together, as well as men who do not know their status. We encourage projects to create a safe place free of stigma and to develop anti HIV-stigma campaigns. Some Projects have created groups for young men living with HIV to come together to discuss issues important to them. 

Project Spaces also provide information on accessing comprehensive counseling or case management services to link young, HIV-positive men to care.  Informal outreach, one of the MP’s core elements, can be used to help encourage HIV positive members to access treatment and take their meds. Risk reduction messages are aimed at both positive and negative men.

RELATED3 important reasons for having a separate space for the Mpowerment Project

Encouraging HIV testing within the Mpowerment Project

The MP encourages peers to talk to their friends about the importance of knowing your HIV status by getting tested regularly, and getting into treatment if HIV-positive.  The Project Space also has referral information on HIV testing sites and services, and the staff of most MPs are trained to provide HIV testing and counseling for their MP participants.

When you register at, you gain access to all of our materials - including the Mpowerment manual. It’s full of content and best practices from projects implementing across the country. It discusses how MP can be used to motivate men to obtain testing. The site features short 10-minute audio-sldieshows specifically for Executive Directors, Funders, and Supervisors. Watch them and let us know what you think.

RELATED:  8 ways to provide agency leadership for the Mpowerment Project.

Somos OC | Mpowerment Orange County CA

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