PI: Julia Seay, PhD
Primary Mentor: Erin Kobetz, PhD
Title: Research Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Study Title: Web-Based Cognitive Behavioral Stress Management for Latino GBM living with HIV and Cancer

Abstract: With a rapidly growing aging HIV-positive (HIV+) population in the US, which includes large proportions of ethnic and sexual minority individuals, there has also been a substantial increase in the proportion of these individuals who develop and survive cancer. Both HIV+ status and cancer survivorship can present multiple challenges, including but not limited to co-management of two chronic diseases, intimacy and partnership concerns, and financial burden. Therefore, living with a dual-diagnosis of HIV and cancer can increase distress, as well as affect multiple aspects of HRQOL. Cancer survivorship disparities are likely compounded for HIV-infected Latino gay and bisexual men (GBM), who are multiple minorities (e.g. both ethnic and sexual minorities), although a paucity of research has examined the unique needs of this sub-population. Our prior research demonstrated the effectiveness of a cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention in improving psychosocial and health outcomes for individuals living with HIV or cancer. Based on prior qualitative work, we have adapted the intervention to include modules such as “Co-Management of HIV and Cancer,” “Partnering with My Health System Providers,” and “Sex and Intimacy,” tailored for dually-diagnosed GBM. However, we recognize that GBM are not a monolithic group, and Latino GBM in particular may have unique needs. Thus, we now propose a mixed-methods pilot study of our previously-developed and adapted CBSM intervention among 50 dually-diagnosed Latino GBM. The proposed study will inform the tailoring and adaptation of the CBSM intervention for dually-diagnosed Latino GBM to ensure the intervention is culturally-relevant and meets the unique needs of our Latino participants. Our aims are as follows: 1) To examine the feasibility and acceptability of our previously-developed web-based CBSM intervention among dually-diagnosed Latino GBM; 2) To evaluate the intended effects of the web-based CBSM intervention among dually-diagnosed Latino GBM; and 3) To compare intervention feasibility, acceptability, and intended effects between English-speaking and Spanish-speaking participants. The proposed project will provide me with the foundation I need to launch my career as an independent investigator, as my primary research interest is in developing behavioral interventions to improve cancer outcomes among underserved ethnic, sexual, and gender minority populations. This project will inform a future R01 proposal to formally examine the effectiveness our CBSM intervention among diverse groups of dually-diagnosed GBM via a large randomized trial