FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the mSTUDY?
The mSTUDY is a research study sponsored by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that is being conducted at two sites in the United States, including: The Los Angeles LGBT Center and the UCLA Vine Street Clinic.

Why is this study being done?
The main purpose of this study is to find out how drug use affects the immune system and if it alters the risk of acquiring HIV and the viral load of those already infected, specifically in Black/African American and Latino men who have sex with men (MSM).

Who can participate?
Are you 18-45 years old? A Black/African-American or Latino male that identifies as male? Do you have sex with other men? HIV-positive, negative or unknown? Have a current, previous or no history of substance use? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you may be eligible to participate in the mSTUDY!

How many people will take part in this study?
A total of 1080 male volunteers will be enrolled at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the UCLA Vine Street Clinic.

Why should I participate in the mSTUDY?
HIV infections are increasing worldwide (6,000 new infections daily), with 63% of all HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S. attributed to gay and bisexual men. Among gay and bisexual men, young African American men who have sex with men (MSM) accounted for the highest number of new HIV infections in 2010 (10,600), while Hispanic/Latino MSM accounted for 79% (6,700) of the estimated new infections among Hispanic/Latino men in 2010. Given that young, non-white MSM are at greatest risk of HIV infection in the U.S., this study will help us understand the impact of drug use on the HIV epidemic over time and its effects on HIV transmission, progression and adherence to medications among MSM of color. (Source: CDC)

What does substance use have to do with HIV?
Substance use, abuse, and dependence been closely associated with HIV infection since the beginning of the epidemic. Although injection drug use is a direct route of transmission, drinking, smoking, ingesting, or inhaling drugs such as alcohol, crack cocaine, methamphetamine (“meth”), and amyl nitrite (“poppers”) are also associated with increased risk for HIV infection. These substances may increase HIV risk by reducing users’ inhibitions to engage in risky sexual behavior. Substance use and addiction are public health concerns not only because it increases the risk of becoming infected with HIV, but it can also affect people’s overall health, make them more vulnerable to HIV infection and, in those already infected with HIV, can advance disease progression and negatively affect how reliably people take their medications. (Source: CDC)

What will happen if I take part in the study?
If you enroll, we would like to assess your sexual behavior and social networks through computer questionnaires, as well as obtain various biological samples from you (blood, urine, saliva, etc.), which we will test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and substances. If enrolled, we would like you to return to the clinic every 6 months so we can continue this assessment over time.

How long will I be in this study?
After the screening visit, you will return for a study visit approximately every 6 months for at least 5 years. All study visits will take about 1-2 hours.

Will I be paid for my participation?
Yes! You will be paid for your time and effort for study visits.

Are there any other benefits if I participate?
You or others may benefit in the future from information learned in this study. You may also get some personal satisfaction from being a part of the research as well as information about your health status that may be important to your long-term wellness. If you are diagnosed with HIV or another STI, study staff can also provide referrals so you may seek care and treatment.

Where do I sign up or get more information?
Contact one of our two sites below! One of our staff members will be happy to see if you qualify. Thank you for your interest in our study!  Sign UP Link

If you are HIV+, please contact:
Los Angeles LGBT Center
Phone: 323.993.8949 or 323.993-8912
Email: mstudy@lalgbtcenter.org

If you are HIV- or unknown, please contact:
UCLA Vine Street Clinic
Phone: 866.449.UCLA (8252) or 323.461.3106
Email:uclavsc@mednet.ucla.edu