About Friends Research Institute, Inc. (FRI)-Los Angeles, California

FRI is a 501 (c) 3 private, non-profit corporation established in 1955. FRI’s mission is to promote health and well-being through research, grants administration, education, and treatment. FRI provides services and research in the fields of substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, health, mental health, and criminal justice. The Friends Community Center (FCC) is a Los Angeles community site of FRI and will be implementing the intervention. FCC serves two target populations: men who have sex with men (MSM) and trans women who are at high-risk for HIV acquisition or transmission. All of FCC’s participants are hard-to-reach, underserved, and underinsured; most of whom are persons of color, have substance use and/or mental health disorders, engage in sex work, and are experiencing homelessness or living in a transitional living situation.


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Friend's Community Center

Adapted Model of Care: A Youth-Focused Behavioral Health Case Management Intervention

Intervention Service Area: Los Angeles County

Intervention: Black men who have sex with men (BMSM) living with HIV in Los Angeles County experience a number of interrelated and mutually reinforcing behavioral health and social challenges, including prejudice/discrimination, substance use disorder, mental health disorder, housing instability, and other individual, cultural, and structural barriers that stand as obstacles to HIV care and other needed services. The intervention will target heavily impacted BMSM living with HIV, between ages 18 and 65. This will allow FCC to provide treatment education, adherence support, and case management for behavioral health factors most impeding BMSM’s access to, retention in, and advancement through the stages of HIV primary care. The primary goal of the intervention will be to link or re-engage and retain BMSM living with HIV in care so they can reach and sustain viral suppression.

The intervention will be delivered by Peer Case Managers, and clinical supervision will be provided by a mental health clinician. The intervention will be implemented over three months and include a total of six sessions. The first four sessions will occur weekly in Month One, the fifth session will occur in Month Two, and the sixth session will occur in Month Three. Case management sessions include detailed assessments of participants’ needs, barriers to treatment, and HIV risk behavioral acuity, all leading to the development of a participant-centered treatment plan. The Peer Case Managers will work with the participants to increase HIV health literacy, identify and remove barriers to optimal HIV health care and other services, and directly link participants to all needed services.

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