´Mindtraining´, mentoring, and 3MV: black CAP´s modification and implementation of the many men, many voices (3MV) intervention for black, gay and bisexual young men in Toronto
Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention, Prevention, Toronto, Canada
Issues: There is an urgent need for targeted, evidence-based HIV prevention intervention program for Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) in Toronto. BMSM in Toronto are at heightened risk for HIV acquisition due to factors including poor self-concept, lack of appropriate peer models, and other risk taking behaviours.
Description: Between June and December 2009, Black CAP piloted a modification of the Many Men, Many Voices (3MV) HIV prevention intervention. Two, three-day, overnight urban retreats were attended by 26 BMSM youth. Black CAP’s curriculum modifications included cognitive stress-inoculation activities (visualisation, guided imagery, positive self-statements), life mapping exercises, adult mentorships, and increased emphasis on HIV testing. The entrance criterion was BMSM between 16-29 years, and was broadened to include HIV positive participants. Recruitment utilized online social networking sites (Youtube, Facebook, BGC), community gatekeepers, and popular opinion leaders, with financial incentive for both youth participation and referral of peers. Pre-evaluation self-surveys, and structured follow-up interviews were conducted to gather data. The objectives were to identify the socio-emotional, attitudinal and behavioural impacts of Black CAP’s intervention on participants, and their degree of uptake of risk reduction behaviours.
Lessons learned: Participants reported the usefulness of the HIV/STI information, an appreciation for the presence of adult mentors, increased self-esteem and concept, and an increased sense of community following the intervention. Concerns over density of material, curriculum pacing, and a lack of physical and creative activities were identified.
Next steps: Given initial feedback, further revisions will be made to shorten curriculum, allow for more varied activities, and to formalize the mentorship sessions and process. Black CAP will conduct an examination of the socio-behavioural impact of this intervention on future participants.