AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 8, pp 2464–2478 | Cite as

Integrating HIV Prevention and Relationship Education for Young Same-Sex Male Couples: A Pilot Trial of the 2GETHER Intervention

  • Michael E. NewcombEmail author
  • Kathryn R. Macapagal
  • Brian A. Feinstein
  • Emily Bettin
  • Gregory Swann
  • Sarah W. Whitton
Original Article


Young men who have sex with men are at high risk for HIV, and most new HIV infections occur in serious relationships. This pilot study assessed the feasibility, acceptability and preliminary efficacy of the 2GETHER couples-based HIV prevention and relationship education intervention for young same-sex male couples. We enrolled 57 young male couples (N = 114) into a four-session hybrid group and individual intervention. We assessed acceptability via post-session surveys and exit interviews, and we examined preliminary efficacy at a two week posttest. The vast majority of participants (93%) reported exclusively positive impressions of 2GETHER, and all components received high mean ratings. We observed decreases in HIV risk behavior, increases in information, motivation and behavioral skills related to HIV prevention, and improvement in relationship investment between pretest and posttest. Integrating relationship education and sexual health programming may be an effective way to reduce HIV transmissions in young male couples.


HIV/AIDS Relationship education Couples Young men who have sex with men 



This research was supported by a grant from the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (PI: M. Newcomb). Michael Newcomb’s time was also supported in part by a grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (DP2DA042417; PI: M. Newcomb). We would like to acknowledge the various individuals who served as facilitators for this project (in addition to the authors): Ryan Coventry, David Drustrup, John Frank, Kelsey Howard, Darnell Motley, Jae A. Puckett, and Tyson Reuter. We would also like to acknowledge Samuel McMillen and Brian Mustanski for their support. Finally, we would like to thank the couples that participated in this study for their time.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors do not have any conflicts of interest to report.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Participants provided their consent/assent to participate in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael E. Newcomb
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kathryn R. Macapagal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brian A. Feinstein
    • 1
    • 2
  • Emily Bettin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gregory Swann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sarah W. Whitton
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and WellbeingNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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