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Young men who have sex with men (MSM) bear the greatest burden of new HIV cases in Connecticut. However, as the needs of young MSM have increased, funding for services catering to this vulnerable population has decreased. In partnership with the Connecticut AIDS Resource Coalition and AIDS Project Hartford, this study seeks to understand how Connecticut agencies are serving young MSM in the current funding environment, and what other barriers they face in preventing the spread of HIV in this community. Qualitative data was collected through in-depth interviews with 10 key staff at agencies that serve the young MSM population in 2 cities in Connecticut. Information was gathered about staff members’ perceptions of behavioral trends and barriers to accessing prevention services in the community, and challenges and successes in prevention programming. Participants were recruited through convenience and snowball sampling.Our findings show that agency staff recognize the profound challenges faced by young MSM in accessing services and the many factors that place them at risk for HIV. However, despite an enormous amount of commitment and creativity on the part of agencies,they continue to struggle to overcome challenges in providing services to this community. Some of these challenges, particularly related to changes in funding and the incorporation of online social media into programs, are relatively new. This report aims to collate knowledge from service providers in order to document recommendations that will help agencies to improve their services and practices.

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Community Health and Preventive Medicine

Assessing HIV/AIDS Prevention Needs and Services for Young MSM in Connecticut