HIV Prevention and Care Among Black Cisgender Sexual Minority Men and Transgender Women: Protocol for an HIV Status–Neutral Cohort Study Using an Observational-Implementation Hybrid Approach

Justin R. Knox, Brett Dolotina, Tyrone Moline, Isabella Matthews, Mainza Durrell, Hillary Hanson, Ellen Almirol, Anna Hotton, Jade Pagkas-Bather, Yen Tyng Chen, Devin English, Jennifer Manuzak, Joseph E. Rower, Caleb Miles, Brett Millar, Girardin Jean-Louis, H. Jonathon Rendina, Silvia S. Martins, Christian Grov, Deborah S. HasinAdam W. Carrico, Steve Shoptaw, John A. Schneider, Dustin T. Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Black cisgender gay, bisexual, and other sexual minority men (SMM) and transgender women (TW) continue to be heavily affected by HIV. Further research is needed to better understand HIV prevention and care outcomes in this population. In particular, there is a need for research examining the impact of substance use and sleep health on HIV prevention and treatment outcomes among Black SMM and TW. Objective: This paper outlines the study methods being used in the recently launched follow-up study to the Neighborhoods and Networks (N2) study, which we refer to as N2 Part 2 (N2P2). N2P2 aims to address this gap in the literature, build off the findings of the original N2 study, and identify socioenvironmental determinants of health, including whether neighborhood and network factors mediate and moderate these relationships. Methods: Building on the N2 cohort study in Chicago from 2018 to 2022, N2P2 used a prospective longitudinal cohort design and an observational-implementation hybrid approach. With sustained high levels of community engagement, we aim to recruit a new sample of 600 Black SMM and TW participants residing in the Chicago metropolitan statistical area. Participants are asked to participate in 3 study visits across an 18-month study period (1 visit every 9 months). Four different forms of data are collected per wave: (1) an in-person survey, (2) biological specimen collection, (3) a daily remote ecological momentary assessment for 14 days after each study visit, and (4) data from electronic health records. These forms of data collection continue to assess neighborhood and network factors and specifically explore substance use, sleep, immune function, obesity, and the implementation of potential interventions that address relevant constructs (eg, alcohol use and pre-exposure prophylaxis adherence). Results: The N2P2 study was funded in August 2021 by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (R01DA054553 and R21DA053156) and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (R01HL160325). This study was launched in November 2022. Recruitment and enrollment for the first wave of data collection are currently ongoing. Conclusions: The N2P2 study is applying innovative methods to comprehensively explore the impacts of substance use and sleep health on HIV-related outcomes among an HIV status–neutral cohort of Black SMM and TW in Chicago. This study is applying an observational-implementation hybrid design to help us achieve findings that support rapid translation, a critical priority among populations such as Black SMM and TW that experience long-standing inequities with regard to HIV and other health-related outcomes. N2P2 will directly build off the findings that have resulted from the original N2 study among Black SMM and TW in Chicago. These findings provide a better understanding of multilevel (eg, individual, network, and neighborhood) factors that contribute to HIV-related outcomes and viral suppression among Black SMM and TW. International Registered Report Identifier (IRRID): DERR1-10.2196/48548

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere48548
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • African American
  • Black
  • HIV
  • alcohol
  • cannabis
  • cisgender sexual minority men
  • sleep
  • stimulants
  • substance use
  • transgender women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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