“Get them while they’re young”: Reflections of Young Gay Men Newly Diagnosed with HIV Infection

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2011


Thirty years into the epidemic, young men who have sex with men (YMSM) continue to be the largest at-risk group for HIV infection in the United States. In this qualitative study, face-to-face confidential interviews were conducted with 10 recently diagnosed YMSM. The purpose of the study was to explore the factors that may have contributed to each young man’s recent HIV diagnosis and to solicit his perspectives on the design and efficacy of existing HIV prevention programs. Content analysis of the interview data revealed four major themes: personal risks, lack of relevant education, accessing the Internet, and the need for mentors. The informants in this study recommended the formulation of age-specific education interventions and the development of HIV prevention interventions that match the sophistication level and needs of today’s gay youth to reduce the number of new HIV infections in YMSM.