The Mpowerment Project works
The Mpowerment Project is the first documented HIV prevention intervention for young gay/bisexual men to succeed in reducing sexual risk behavior. The program has been carefully developed, evaluated, and continually refined over the course of twelve years by prominent behavioral scientists from the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for AIDS Prevention Studies (CAPS), a leading-edge HIV/AIDS research institution.
It has been rigorously evaluated in two cities (Eugene, Oregon and Santa Barbara, California), and in both it reduced the rates of unprotected anal intercourse among young gay/bisexual men. The Mpowerment Project is listed in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’ s Compendium of HIV Prevention Interventions with Evidence of Effectiveness.
Our study also looked at the impact of the Mpowerment Project since HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) — the drug “cocktail”— has become available. Our data showed that the intervention resulted in a slight decrease (-12%) in risk behavior among young gay/bisexual men in Albuquerque, NM while during the same time period, the risk behaviors in the comparison communities rose dramatically. Young gay/bisexual men in Phoenix, AZ reported a 24% increase in unprotected anal sex, and young gay/bisexual men in Austin, TX reported a 42% increase. At the time these data were collected, neither Austin nor Phoenix had an Mpowerment Project in their communities.