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Principal investigator

Perry Halkitis,
Professor Emeritus
Director, Center for Health, Identity, Behavior, and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS)


This project is a longitudinal program of research to follow the development of syndemics in a racially/ethnically and economically diverse cohort of urban HIV-negative young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in New York City as they transition from adolescence into young adulthood, and apply, test, and further develop a theory of syndemic production to understand the development of both maladaptive and adaptive behavioral outcomes. Specifically we seek to (1) develop and test theoretically informed measurement models of the covariance of illicit drug use, unprotected sexual behavior, and mental health burden among emergent adult HIV-negative YMSM within and across time, (2) assess whether patterns of behavior are continuous, discontinuous, or some combination of both; (3) delineate the risk and protective bases-physical factors (i.e., pubertal onset, HIV status), relational factors (i.e., family history of psychopathology, current romantic relationships, peer support, and characteristics of residential, social, and sex neighborhoods), and psychosocial factors (i.e., sexual identity, internalized homophobia, hypermasculinity, racial identity, racial devaluation, HIV optimism) that predict the development of syndemics, and (4) determine the extent to which the development of syndemics varies by race/ethnicity, social class, and homelessness/housing stability in a cohort of HIV-negative YMSM.


New York, NY