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 RFA-1308: Promoting Adolescent Health Through School-Based HIV/STD Prevention and School-Based Surveillance [PDF – 771K] .
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. Funded partners implement multiple activities to meet the local HIV/STD prevention needs of black and Latino 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
- Market HIV/STD prevention to teen YMSM
- Implement evidence-based HIV prevention interventions tailored for teen YMSM
HIV Among YMSM: Facts at a Glance
- In 2015, youth aged 13 to 24 accounted for 22% of all new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Most of those new diagnoses among youth (81%) occurred among gay and bisexual males.1
- Of newly diagnosed males in 2015, 55% (3,888) were black, 24% (1,672) were Hispanic/Latino, and 16% (1,159) were white. 1
- If current rates persist, projections suggest approximately 1 in 6 MSM are at risk of becoming infected with HIV in their lifetime, with even worse projections for Latino MSM (1 in 4) and black MSM (1 in 2).2
- About 60% of all youth with HIV do not know they are infected, are not getting treated, and can unknowingly pass the virus on to others.3
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV Among Youth. Accessed May 26, 2017.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC fact sheet: HIV Among Gay and Bisexual Men. 2017. Accessed May 26, 2017.
- CDC. Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, and Risk Behaviors Among Youths — United States. MMWR 2012:61(47);971-976.
- Page last reviewed: June 12, 2017
- Page last updated: June 12, 2017
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