Intervention Research Among Drug-Using Men Who Have Sex with Men

Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 82, Issue 1, pp i109-i119

First online:

Recruiting drug-using men who have sex with men into behavioral interventions: A two-stage approach

  • David E. KanouseAffiliated withThe RAND Corporation Email author 
  • , Ricky N. BluthenthalAffiliated withCharles R. Drew University of Medicine and ScienceThe RAND Corporation
  • , Laura BogartAffiliated withThe RAND Corporation
  • , Martin Y. IguchiAffiliated withThe RAND Corporation
  • , Suzanne PerryAffiliated withThe RAND Corporation
  • , Kelly SandAffiliated withThe RAND Corporation
  • , Steven ShoptawAffiliated withIntegrated Substance Abuse Programs, University of California, Los AngelesFriends Research Institute

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Drug-using men who have sex with men (MSM) are at high risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV infection. Efforts to change behaviors in this population have been hampered by difficulties in recruiting drug-using MSM into behavioral interventions. This study sought to develop an effective strategy for recruiting drug-using MSM into behavioral interventions that consist of motivational interviewing alone or motivational interviewing plus contingency management. MSM were recruited through advertising and community outreach into groups to discuss party drugs, party burnout, and sexual behavior, with the intervention subsequently described and enrollment offered in the group setting. Many more eligible MSM responded to advertisements for the discussion groups than advertisements for the interventions, and 58% of those who participated in the discussion groups volunteered for counseling. Men who entered counseling reported high levels of drug use and sexual activity and were racially and ethnically diverse; only 35% were willing to accept drug treatment. Results demonstrate that a two-stage strategy in which drug-using MSM are first recruited into discussion groups before they are offered a behavioral intervention can be an effective way to induce voluntary acceptance of an intervention employing a behavioral risk-reduction approach.


Contingency management Gay and bisexual men Health services marketing Illicit drugs Motivational interviewing Sexual risk behaviors