Research Projects

We are currently updating our Research projects page - Keep checking back for details of new studies.

Active studies

Project BMO – Black Male Opinions is a short survey to understand the willingness and preferences of Black men with regards to their sexual reproductive health and healthcare.

You can connect with the study on Facebook or Instagram @project.bmo.

Principal Investigator(s): Jade Burns

Study Team:                      Tanaka Chavanduka

Project Caboodle explores the acceptability and feasibility of self-collecting at home and returning by mail all, some, or none of the following five biological specimens: (i) finger-stick blood sample, (ii) pharyngeal swab, (iii) urine specimen, (iv) rectal swab, and (v) hair sample, among 100 high-risk, HIV-negative or unknown status US MSM (18-34 years, 50 black and 50 white) recruited through social networking websites and mobile gay dating apps.

A second phase of in-depth interviews from a sample of participants will collect qualitative data about participant's experiences in the study.

Principal Investigator(s): Akshay Sharma

Co-Investigator:                Rob Stephenson

Study Team:                      Gregory Sallabank & Leland Merrill

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.

Principal Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson 

Study Team:                     Tanaka Chavanduka, Ali Walsh and Gregory Sallabank

LGBTQ Pregnancy Loss

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

Principal 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

Principal 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.

Principal Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson 

Project Manager:             Erin Rogers


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-Principal Investigator(s): Lynae Darbes

Stay Safe

The Stay Safe project is a qualitative study that will explore the barriers and facilitators of sexual health service use among young heterosexual Black men and their access to care in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) in Detroit.

Principal Investigator(s): Jade Burns

Study Team: Renee Pitter & Tanaka Chavanduka


STEPS Project

A community needs assessment for optimizing expedited partner therapy

Principal 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.

Principal Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson

Project Managers:              Alexis Hunter & Jayelin Parker


It Takes Two

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

Principal 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-Principal 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-Principal Investigator(s): Shanna Kattari​ & Lee Roosevelt

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.

Principal Investigator(s): Rob Stephenson & Kristi Gamarel

Project Manager:              Catherine Washington

The Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities

University of Michigan School of Nursing 

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