Community Engagement Overview 

During the pilot, community engagement will be directed at three levels: 

  1. General awareness of the study 
  1. Component-specific engagement  
  1. Indirect recruitment for the cross-sectional assessment  

Because this study is multi-leveled, a stakeholder mapping exercise was executed to determine appropriate stakeholders at each level of engagement, and how much engagement, communication or consideration would be needed. This process allowed better prioritization of stakeholders and for focused efforts at each individual level of engagement in the most impactful way.  

Levels of Engagement  

1. General Awareness

Community engagement for the purposes of general awareness-building during the pilot will focus on the creation of awareness which will be demonstrated through community acceptability of the study along with the formation and utilization of both the Community Advisory Group (CAG) and Community Strategies Group (CSG).

  • Community Advisory Group: The CAG is comprised of local gate keepers who are embedded in study communities. CAG members will work locally to establish relationships and find ways to create new stakeholder engagement and awareness opportunities for HPTN 096.  
  • Community Strategies Group: This group was created during the study conception phase to ensure HPTN 096 had culturally relevant input and study development guidance.  

2. Community Liaisons  

Community Liaisons are responsible for promoting the HPTN 096 project through planned community outreach, awareness, and engagement activities; and identifying health and community related service’s needs for Black men who have sex with men (MSM) where HPTN 096 can collaborate, address service gaps, and develop community focused outcomes to assist in the promotion of all HPTN 096 components.  

Micah Jenkins

Micah Jenkins is an advocate for human rights. Since 2018 he has work on several Campaigns; from presidential to local candidate races. His has also volunteered for many lgbtqia organization and is passionate about bringing awareness to the HIV/AIDs epidemic. He is currently attending Greenville Technical College pursuing a degree in Marketing in the nonprofit sector. He is currently working for TD Bank as well as volunteering his time to help the homeless and less fortunate. 

Corey Oden

Corey Oden is a native of Birmingham and a lifelong HIV/AIDS advocate. Over the years Corey has worked alongside several organizations in the greater Birmingham area, and recently he harnessed his love, passion, and support for TPOC communities and joined the T.A.K.E. Resource Center staff as their H.E.L.P. Program coordinator. Corey continues to seek creative and new ways to keep the HIV conversation and prevention methods going,  and help stop the epidemic.

Rhys Caraway

Rhys Caraway is a Houston native and graduate of Jack Yates High School and attended Prairie View A&M University. Rhys started his career in HIV outreach and sexual health education with the Houston Health Department before entering the non-profit sector and formally served as the inaugural Director of Advocacy for Impulse Group Houston. In addition to his professional work, Rhys is a community organizer, activist, and advocate. He has done work within the movement for Black Lives, commonly referred to as the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically having done work in Waller County around the Sandra Bland case as well as worked alongside BLMHTX, a collective of activists, artists and educators. He is also the founder and curator of the Black Queer Magic Empowerment brunch, an annual event held to honor and empower members of Houston’s Black LGBTQIA+ community. Rhys has been featured by Outsmart Magazine as a one of the Top Black LGBTQ leaders of 2017 and is currently featured in the “Declaration of Independence ” exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington D.C.

Dwayne Holmes

Dwayne Holmes is a native of Dallas, TX with an Associate of Arts degree from Weatherford College. As an advocate and HIV/STI case manager, his lived and professional experience spans through a 7-year period. Dwayne currently works for Abounding Prosperity, Inc. where he has devoted his professional career to being a voice for his community advocating not only the use of PrEP and TasP, but the disproportionate disparities faced by his community. As the creator and founder of S.T.O.P Stigma – Striving Through Our Persecution, he is actively engaged with combating stigma associated with being black, gay, living or not with HIV through education, conversation and advocacy.

3. Study Component Specific Community Engagement

Each study component will involve tailored community engagement activities for the purposes of gaining participation in, awareness of, or acceptability for each component. These community engagement activities are largely integrated into the activities of the study component itself, and as such, the success of community engagement as it relates to specific components will be assessed from a subset of pilot outcome measures already identified for each component.  

For more information about Community Engagement activities, please contact:

Marcus Bryan PhD, RN | Senior Community Program Manager III | Email:
Office: 919.544.7040 ext. 11678 | Fax: 919.544.7261 | Cell: 919.638.9850