2014: Fostering Resilience: Study on understanding the impact of structured counselling towards safer sex behaviour with Massachusetts General Hospital, Fenway Community Health and NIRT – Chennai

There are large numbers of men who have sex with men (MSM) in India who face various psychosocialchallenges as well as risk for getting or transmitting HIV. While condom distribution and education aboutHIV can help with HIV prevention, MSM in India may benefit from an intervention that involves counselling to help with different psychosocial challenges or mental health concerns.

This study is the next step of ongoing community-based research collaboration between investigatorsfrom the United States (funded through the National Institute of Mental Health), investigators from theIndia Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis (NIRT)and two NGOs dedicated to HIV prevention among MSM — Sahodaran (Chennai) and The HumsafarTrust (Mumbai).

This is a randomized controlled trial, comparing two different approaches to HIV prevention amongMSM. Accordingly, 608 MSM in Chennai and Mumbai will be receive either:

1) Testing for HIV and sexually transmitted infections (and linkage to treatment for any positivetests), and related counselling. This group is called HIV/STI VCT.

2) HIV/STI VCT and additional counselling. This involves 4 group counselling sessions and 6individual counselling sessions focused on participant needs.

All participants will be followed for one year, with STI incidence and HIV risk behaviour as primaryoutcomes and psychosocial mediators secondary. Cost effectiveness of the intervention will be calculatedcompared to HIV/STI VCT alone, considering individual and public health benefits as well asdownstream cost-savings due to infections averted.


Study duration: Five years

Current Status: On going

social position

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