At last Monday’s 31st Annual Multi-Campus Family Medicine Research Day, several research posters authored by CBAM staff were presented to attendees as part of the conference agenda. One such poster was entitled “Understanding sociodemographic and underlying medical issues that hinder clinical trial eligibility for BMSM in HPTN 073” by CBAM’s Christopher Blades, Marisa Briones, and Steven Shoptaw.

HPTN 073 is a demonstration study designed to see how willing Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) are in taking Truvada, a daily pill for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The primary objective is to assess the initiation, acceptability, safety, and feasibility of PrEP.  BMSM account for 22% of new HIV diagnoses among men in LA, but represent only 4% of the general population.

The UCLA site was one of three sites selected to implement this protocol based on the ongoing transmission rates in LA County. The UCLA site screened BMSM, successfully enrolling a portion of those screened into the study. Socio-demographic and underlying medical issues of the BMSM that were screened failed due to the study’s medical exclusion criteria were evaluated and characterize. Demographic data which included age, insurance, employment, annual income, and sexual risk factors was also analyzed. Underlying medical issues were compiled from participant interviews, self-report, and laboratory assessments. Laboratory assessments including HIV testing, urine analyses, Hepatitis B screening, kidney and renal functioning. Reason for medical exclusion included urine dipstick positive for protein or glucose, elevated creatinine levels, chronic hepatitis B infection, decreased platelet count, reactive HIV test, and other medical conditions that would interfere with the aim of the study.

The study team analyzed this collection of data to observe how some health conditions can interfere with BMSM accessing potential research benefits such as access to free PrEP, Hepatitis B vaccination, STI testing/treatment, and client centered care coordination (C4). The findings of this analysis may help inform treatment as prevention among BMSM and help interventions address socio-demographic factors that impact health and healthcare utilization, as challenges with continuous access to healthcare, health education/awareness and linkage to care persists among this population.

To read more about HPTN 073, click here.


CBAM is a multidisciplinary center that seeks to advance the prevention and treatment of chronic illnesses, especially in communities with health disparities. As part of the UCLA Department of Family Medicine, CBAM works at the intersection of academia and community with a focus on treating addictions and preventing the spread of HIV.

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