University of California San Francisco Prevention Research Center

Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered (STYLE)


Young Black men who have sex with men have high rates of HIV infection and are less likely to receive HIV treatment than men of other racial groups. Men who have sex with men (MSM) represented 61% of all new HIV infections in 2009, and 69% among individuals ages 13-29.  New infections increased 34% among young MSM between 2006 and 2009, largely driven by a 48% increase among young black MSM during this time. More new infections occurred in 2009 among young black MSM than among any other age and racial group of MSM.  Moreover, young Black MSM are seven times more likely to be unaware of their HIV infection, relative to young MSM of other ethnic or racial groups.

Researchers have identified multiple reasons that affect HIV+ individuals’ links to care: seeking and maintaining care and antiretroviral treatment. The barriers to continuing care occur at different social levels and include: individual (ex. stigma), interpersonal (e.g., medical mistrust), social/ community level (e.g., lack of social support), and structural (e.g., lack of insurance or transportation to physician).

The University of California, San Francisco PRC will implement the intervention, “Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered” (STYLE), which has shown to be effective in improving engagement in HIV healthcare among young HIV+ Black and Latino MSM.  STYLE will address more broadly the HIV-related health disparities among African Americans.  STYLE seeks to diagnose, engage, and retain HIV-positive young, black and Latino MSM in HIV primary care services. The STYLE project seeks to improve the health of HIV-positive young Black and Latino men by making these links between healthcare and community-based organizations in Almeda County, California and adjacent counties.

Project Identifier “Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered” (STYLE)

Funding Source PRC Program

Project Status Active

Host Institution University of California, San Francisco

Health Topics HIV/AIDS & STD prevention | Sexual health

Research setting: City/Town |Medical or clinical site

Race or ethnicity African American or Black | Hispanic or Latino

Gender Males

Age group Adolescents (12-17 years) | Young adults (18-24 years) |Adults (25-29)

Contact Information Center
UCSF Prevention Research Center
3333 California Street, Suite 1300
San Francisco, CA 94143

Principal Investigator and PRC Director
Marguerita Lightfoot
Phone: (415) 597-4972