The HPTN 096 study intervention is designed to improve two primary outcomes in Black men who have sex with men (MSM): 

  • Viral Suppression
  • PrEP Uptake

The cross-sectional assessments will be used to measure one of these outcomes, specifically PrEP uptake. There will be two assessments: a baseline assessment when the intervention is just beginning, and a post-intervention assessment after the three year study ends. During these assessments, Black MSM will be invited to provide a blood sample and completing two surveys.

How will the cross-sectional assessments be done?

The cross-sectional assessments are being conducting using a special approach called “starfish sampling.” Starfish sampling combines the recruitment of Black MSM at locations where they gather – like Pride events, bars, bookstores, etc. – together with referral to the study by people who have already participated in the assessment. The combination of these two recruitment methods will help the study team find a random – and thus representative – sample of all Black MSM in each study community.

Where will the cross-sectional assessments take place?

The cross-sectional assessments will be done in every study community (both intervention and standard-of-care communities). The baseline assessments are complete in 4 study communities (Dallas TX, Houston, TX, Montgomery, AL and Greenville, SC), and will be conducted in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and New Orleans, LA in 2023.  

Who will be included in the cross-sectional assessments?

100 Black MSM in each community (a total of 1600 for the overall study) will be included in the baseline assessment.

An average of 280 Black MSM in each of the 16 participating communities (intervention and standard-of-care) for a total of approximately 4480 individuals. The number of Black MSM enrolled in each study community pair for the post intervention assessment will vary between approximately 150 and 350, based on the estimated size of the local Black MSM population; however, the average enrolled per study community will remain at approximately 280.