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HIV Prevention Study Seeks Native American Male Participants

Tuesday Jun 20, 2017

The Virtual Two-Spirit project is a culturally-grounded, online HIV prevention intervention for Native American and Alaska Native men who have sex with men.

The intervention facilitates positive sexual health behaviors and promotes HIV risk harm reduction strategies. Eligible participants who complete the three-week intervention and online assessments can receive up to $190 in incentives.

The project is being conducted by the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The Virtual Two-Spirit intervention utilizes a computer downloadable virtual reality world, where participants create their own avatar and go through experiential modules in learning about HIV testing, harm reduction techniques, condom use and condom use negotiation, and behavioral role play.

The expected outcomes for participants who go through the intervention include: an increase in HIV testing, more reliable condom use, and awareness and practice of harm reduction behaviors. Results of this study will be used to further refine and tailor the intervention for a larger study.

The study is actively recruiting participants nationally to test the Virtual Two-Spirit intervention. Eligibility criteria include (1) Being or identify as American Indian or Alaska Native; (2) At least 18 years of age; (3) Having an e-mail address, regular access to a computer with internet, and the ability to download free software; (4) Male [or identify as a male] who has sex with men; and (5) HIV negative or do not know current HIV status. To learn more about the study or to see if you are eligible, please contact vr2s@uw.edu or 971-251-0402.

The Virtual Two-Spirit project is supported by funding from the National Institute of Health and Health Disparities, Award Number P60MD006909. Principal Investigator, Karina Walters, Ph.D., University of Washington.

For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Vr2L2Spirit/

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