Factors Related to STI and HIV Prevalence Among House and Ball Youth in Two US Cities

Friday, June 25th 2021

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Register Now
Registration Required

POSSE Project is a study examining the effectiveness and implementation of a community-level HIV prevention intervention based on POL models across two cities with similar HBCs, Chicago and Philadelphia. Every 6 months over 2.5 years BYMSM aged 15-24 were surveyed and offered optional HIV and STI screenings at social events sponsored by POSSE. Survey questions included risk behaviors, housing status, health care access, and HIV stigma. Participants were shown how to self-administer anal swabs for STI screening.. Study staff conducted rapid HIV tests. 580 participants opted into STI testing, HIV results were collected from 428 participants, and 103 participants self-reported HIV status. STI rates in both cities were similar (18.2% Philadelphia, 25% Chicago) and remained consistent throughout data collection. However, Philadelphia reported no new seroconversions while Chicago had 42. This poster explores some of the potential influencing factors in these differences.


  1. Describe POSSE Project
  2. Learn more about HIV rates by demographic in the study
  3. Examine the differences in HIV Rates in Philadelphia and Chicago
  4. Discuss some possible influencing factors on the HIV data collected

Bevin GwiazdowskiBevin Gwiazdowski, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

As the study coordinator for multiple projects with the Adolescent Initiative at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Bevin does more than just run recruitment events and help collect data. With more than 10 years of direct service work with LGBTQ youth, she is committed to finding new ways to engage youth and enhance community partnerships. She hopes to help facilitate capacity building and leadership development within the communities she works.

Marne Castillo, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Marne Castillo

A Nuyorican from the South Bronx, Dr. Marné Castillo has made her home in Philadelphia since 1999. She has worked with adolescents for over 20 years, starting out in New York City public school conflict resolution programs. She completed her graduate studies at Temple University, acquiring her Master’s in Education and a PhD in Public Health. Currently, she is the Clinical and Research Director of the CHOP Adolescent Initiative overseeing community-based HIV prevention research and clinical programs. Dr. Castillo is the Principal Investigator for the NIH iTech Site at CHOP, the NIMH-funded POSSE Project and the NIDA PUSH Study. Since 2002 she led the Connect to Protect Project, the ATN community-based prevention research study focusing on community mobilization and HIV primary prevention. She contributes to peer-reviewed articles, lectures locally about community-based research, and sits on HIV prevention community groups as well as non-profit boards.



Location Details

Virtual Event

Spotlight On

Karam Mounzer, MD

Dr. Mounzer identified two major gaps in the care of patients with HIV/hepatitis C (HCV) co-infection, and the complexity of multidrug-resistant HIV treatment. He is involved with many clinical trials focusing on drug development and better understanding of HIV immunopathogenesis with the Wistar Institute. He is involved in teaching and mentoring.

Learn More about Spotlight On
Dr. Karam Mounzer

Dr. Mario Cruz

Dr. Mario CruzDr. Cruz is a board certified pediatrician who serves as the Medical Director for our Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Center. He has presented and/or published in the fields of community violence and domestic violence prevention, quality improvement, behavioral health, curriculum development and mentorship. In 2019 he received the Greater Philadelphia Social Innovation Award for Innovations in Healthcare.

Translate »