Research Projects

Active studies

Acceptability and feasibility of self-collecting biological specimens among high-risk populations

Couples Health and Attitudes on Prevention

Hierarchical influences on PrEP use, willingness and readiness among men who have sex with men
Understanding preferences and usage of HIV prevention services. 

Principle Investigator(s): Erin Kahle & Akshay Sharma

The iCON Plus study is a randomized control trial that utilizes a mobile-friendly WebApp intervention focused on life-skills training for adolescent MSM (ages 13-18) in four U.S. regions that are geographically diverse (urban, sub-urban, rural), and heavily impacted by HIV.

Principle Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson 

Study Team:                     Tanaka Chavanduka

LGBTQ Pregnancy Loss

LGBTQ people's disclosure and support seeking on social media when experiencing pregnancy loss

Principle Investigator(s): Ashley Lacombe-Duncan & Lee Roosevelt


The Masculinity, Affirmation, and Self-Conceptualization Study (MASCS) aims to understand how trans masculine-spectrum individuals conceptualize their gender expressions and holistic health behaviors. If you are interested in being a part of our project, click the link below

Principle Investigator(s): Sarah Peitzmeier

Project Manager:              Kieran Todd

The study is a collaborative effort between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (National Center for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STI, and TB Prevention, Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Prevention Research Branch), Emory University, the University of Michigan and Public Health Solutions.

The project will be looking at the use, acceptability, and effectiveness of tailored mobile application messages to cisgendered gay and bisexual men across three sites, including: Atlanta, New York City, and Detroit.

Principle Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson 

Project Manager:             Erin Rogers

Project Moxie is an online study that measures HIV knowledge and focuses on the uptake of HIV testing of transgender youth . The study asks trans youth to receive an at-home HIV-testing kit that will be mailed to an address of their choice and then they will report their results. Over a period of a year, participants are asked to take five surveys.

Principle Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson 

Study Team:                      Kieran todd

Project Nexus is a national online trial that seeks to understand how telemedicine could improve HIV testing and reduce risk among gay and bisexual male couples. Funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the project will send at-home HIV test kits to male couples across the United States and then remotely counsel them in their own home using a HIPAA compliant video call service

Principle Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson 

Project Manager:             Stephen Sullivan


Testing Strategies for Couple Engagement in Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) and Family Health in Kenya

PMCTC proposes to conduct a three-arm trial among 1080 pregnant women and partners, randomizing them to home-based couple visits, HIV self-test (HIVST) kits to use with their male partner, or standard care (male partner clinic invitation letters), following couples up to 18 months postpartum.

Co-Principle Investigator(s): Lynae Darbes


STEPS Project

A community needs assessment for optimizing expedited partner therapy

Principle Investigator(s): Kristi Gamarel

Co Investigator(s): Okeoma Mmeje & Rob Stephenson

Consistent with the National HIV/AIDS Prevention Plan’s call to reduce new HIV infections by intensifying prevention efforts in communities where HIV is most heavily concentrated, we propose to integrate a substance use intervention as part of standard HIV prevention and care services in the Detroit Metro, Ann Arbor, and Flint Areas. This trial will yield important information on delivery of substance use brief intervention in community-based settings as a potentially scalable approach to increasing HIV engagement in care among high-risk substance using YMSM ages 15-29.

Principle Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson

Project Manager:              Alexis Hunter

Study Team                       Jayelin Parker, Matthew Rosso, Leland Merrill, Michael Miller


It Takes Two

A couples-based approach to HIV prevention for transgender women and their male partners

Principle Investigator(s): Kristi Gamarel

Co Investigator(s): Lynae Darbes


The Together study is the culmination of years of studies that have focused on gay male couples and their health. Participation in the study lasts over 9 months. The study begins with couples testing, followed by a two-day Couples Workshop. After that, there are follow-up appointments at 3, 6, and 9 months to see how the results of the workshop. Total participation lasts about 10 hours over 9 months. 

Co-Principle Investigator(s): Lynae Darbes



Transgender/nonbinary Sexual and Reproductive Health Photovoice

A photo voicestudy for transgender, nonbinary, two-spirit, genderqueer, agender, genderexpansive or another non-cisgender identity, and age 18 or older. Current recruitment in Washtenaw County. Detroit recruitment to begin in fall 2019.

Co-Principle Investigator(s): Shanna Kattari

We Prevent seeks to develop and pilot a relationship skills session as an addition to the current Couples HIV Testing and Counseling (CHTC) for young, gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (YMSM). Both the relationship session and CHTC will be delivered to 15-19 years old YMSM via video-chat, with recruitment occurring in all 50 states. Incorporating relationship skills session into existing CHTC has the potential to empower YMSM with skills needed to efficiently communicate and protect themselves from HIV in their current and future relationships.

Principle Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson & Kristi Gamarel

Project Manager:              Matthew Rosso

Study Team:                      Oksana Kutsa


Viva aims to understand the willingness and preferences of people to receive different kinds of HIV tests in dental care settings. The research will improve the understanding of people’s preferences to utilize HIV prevention services in non-traditional settings. 

Co-Principle Investigator(s): Akshay Sharma

Project Manager:              Matthew Rosso

The Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities

University of Michigan School of Nursing 

400 North Ingalls St. 
Ann Arbor,MI, 48109-5482