An $8.4 grant from the National Institutes of Health is going to researchers at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to conduct a five-year study with the goal of improving HIV care and prevention among young gay and bisexual men of color.

According to a Children’s Hospital press release, the Healthy Young Men’s Study will look at prevention techniques and biomedical interventions as well as risk factors and barriers to care that exist, particularly among African-American and Latino communities.

“The rate of new HIV infections in this group is extraordinarily and unacceptably high. This is the only group for which there has been no change in either rates of new infection or cases of AIDS,” said the study’s principal investigator Michele D. Kipke, PhD, in the press release. Kipke is the vice chair of research in the Department of Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and director of the Community, Health Outcomes & Intervention Research Program of the Saban Research Institute at CHLA.
“For example, young African-American homosexual men are five times more likely to be HIV positive, seven times more likely to be undiagnosed, and are less likely to seek and remain in HIV/AIDS care than their white counterparts,” Kipke said. She lists homophobia and racism as contributing to these statistics.