Quantitative evaluation on the challenges and opportunities in the recruitment of young Black men who have sex with men for sexual health research in the southern US

Academic Article


  • Background: Young Black men who have sex with men (YBMSM) in the Deep South are at increased risk of sexually transmissible infections (STIs) and HIV. The present two-phase study evaluated the recruitment of YBMSM, both HIV infected and uninfected, for a sexual health study in Birmingham (AL, USA) from 2017 to 2019 and explored alternative patient-centred recruitment methods. Methods: In Phase 1, YBMSM were recruited to participate in focus groups related to STI testing. To recruit participants, flyers were displayed in businesses, clinics and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-friendly organisations. In addition, research staff at an HIV clinic referred participants and a recruiter attended community events. In Phase 2, YB men were asked, in an electronic survey, 'What is the best way to recruit young, Black men for surveys about sexual health?' and 'If you selected 'social media', which social media sites or 'apps' do you think are best to recruit young, Black men?'. Results: In Phase 1, 38 YBMSM participated in focus groups. Twelve (32%) were recruited by referral, 9 (24%) were recruited from an HIV clinic and 11 (29%) were recruited from an LGBT organisation. The recruiter was unable to recruit any participants. In Phase 2, 55 YBMSM completed the electronic survey. Twenty-six (48%) selected social media as the best way to recruit young Black men for surveys about sexual health, and their suggested platforms included Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Kik and dating apps. Seventeen (31%) selected 'Having young gay black men recruit from their friends and acquaintances' as the ideal recruitment strategy. Conclusion: Challenges persist when recruiting YBMSM for sexual health research. Social media may provide better access to this vulnerable population.
  • Published In

  • Sexual Health  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 14675201
  • Author List

  • Kelsie Dodson C; Jackson D; Muzny CA; Eaton EF
  • Start Page

  • 87
  • End Page

  • 90
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 1