​Integrating Mental Health into HIV Prevention and Care Continua Services and Systems for Young GBMSM in Kenya: A Community-Led Participatory Approach

Grant Period: February 2022 – January 2024

Funder: National Institute of Mental Health

Collaborators: University of Michigan, Aga Khan University, Maseno University, multiple GBMSM and LGBTQ+ community-based organizations including Men Against AIDS Youth Group (MAAYGO)​

Investigating team: PI Gary Harper, Co-Is Manasi Kumar, Laura Jadwin-Cakmak, Alejandro Rivas, Henry Victor Digolo, Kennedy Olango, Elijah Ochieng, Lily Simon  and Wilson Odero.

Project Summary: Young gay and bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (Y-GBMSM) in Kenya are disproportionately impacted by HIV infection, and mental health concerns can negatively influence their progression through both the HIV prevention and HIV care continua. This study aims to develop a conceptual model to guide the integration of mental health promotion program components into new and existing community-based HIV prevention and care continua interventions for Y-GBMSM and develop blueprints for mental health promotion program components that could be integrated into HIV interventions at four socio-ecological levels of influence: individual, group, clinic/organization, and community.  This study has the potential to improve HIV prevention and care services for Y-GBMSM in Kenya, other regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, and in the U.S. by shedding light on effective strategies for addressing the critical influence of mental health on HIV prevention and care.