The Young Men Who Have Sex with Men (YMSM) Project:
Reducing the Risk of HIV/STD Infection
The goal of the YMSM Project is to reduce the risk of HIV and STD infection in YMSM students (ages 13–19) with a focus on black and Latino YMSM. To accomplish this goal, the project works to:
- Increase the number of teen YMSM who are tested and treated for HIV and STD
- Decrease sexual risk behaviors among teen YMSM
- Reduce absenteeism and school drop-out among teen YMSM
For this project, "YMSM" includes young men who identify as gay or bisexual, are attracted to other males, and/or engage in sexual behavior with other males.
The YMSM Project's innovative, school-centered approach is led by CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). The project is funded jointly by the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP) and DASH through the cooperative agreement CDC RFA-1308:Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance.
Four partners are funded to address the HIV/STD Prevention needs of black and Latino YMSM:
- Advocates for Youth
- Los Angeles Unified School District (California)
- San Francisco Unified School District (California)
- School Board of Broward County (Florida)
The project is guided by the National HIV/AIDS Strategy [pdf 974k],. Funded partners implement multiple activities to meet the local HIV/STD prevention needs of YMSM in priority schools:
- Implement or expand HIV and STD testing and treatment in schools and school-based health centers
- Increase collaboration between schools, school-based health centers, community-based organizations, and other health care providers for linkage and referral to HIV and STD testing and treatment, and evidence-based educational interventions
- Develop a systematic process for school staff (e.g., nurses, counselors, and social workers) to refer students to HIV and STD testing and treatment
- Assess and implement policies that impact HIV and STD-related testing, treatment, and prevention interventions for teen YMSM
- Implement programs to promote healthy school and school-based health center environments for YMSM
- Implement social marketing campaigns for teen YMSM that focus on HIV/STD prevention
- Implement evidence-based HIV prevention interventions tailored for teen YMSM
HIV/STD Among YMSM: Facts at a Glance
1CDC. HIV Surveillance in Adolescents and Young Adults (through 2011). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC Web site. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/statistics_surveillance_Adolescents.pdf [PDF 4.7M].
2CDC. HIV Surveillance in Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)(through 2011). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC Web site. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/statistics_surveillance_MSM.pdf [PDF 242K].
3CDC. Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, and Risk Behaviors Among Youths -- United States. MMWR 2012:61(47);971-976.