Reaching and Recruiting Young Black and Latino MSM: Understanding effective social media campaigns for youth-focused research

Wednesday, June 17th 2020

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM


Reaching sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents and young adults (AYA) via social media is crucial to the success of interventions in order to reach those who may not access services or be “out”. The PUSH Study (Providing Unique Support for Health) is a multi-arm HIV prevention study using motivational interviewing and an app to support SGM AYA of color assigned male at birth with medication adherence. Facebook and Instagram ads have yielded a significant number of enrolled participants. This poster will describe the most effective ads and methods for categorization and analysis. Over 16 months, the PUSH study interfaced with 239 AYA via social media outreach. 48 of those indicated their interest in the study, 32 completed screening, and 20 enrolled. The most successful ad campaign yielded six enrolled AYA. This lead ad features an affectionate sexual minority couple with the headline “Be proud! Be YOU. Tell the PUSH Study what pride month means to you.” The second most successful campaign produced three enrolled participants. This lead ad features a colorful photo of a duo holding cell phones, with one draped in the pride flag. The third most successful campaign produced two enrolled participants. This lead ad features another colorful photo of an affectionate sexual minority couple. SGM AYA of color show preference for a social media ad featuring a photo of happy, representative couples, which empowers users to sign up for the study by leaving their contact information in a lead ad. Messaging via social media with potential participants either who leave contact information in the lead ad or who like the post proves effective for screening and enrolling AYA.


  • Provide attendees with the PUSH Study Findings
  • Discuss best practices in reaching sexual and gender minority (SGM) adolescents and young adults (AYA) via social media


Marne Castillo, MEd, PhD

Dr. Castillo is Clinical and Research Director of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Adolescent Initiative and the principal investigator for CHOP’s Adolescent Trials Unit, which is supported by the National Institutes of Health in addition to several other multi-site studies. From 2002 to 2017, she led the “Connect to Protect Project,” the Adolescent Trials Network community-based prevention research study focusing on community mobilization and HIV primary prevention.

Dr. Castillo’s work focuses on adolescent health promotion and community engagement in research, especially with the House and Ball and Kiki communities. She also has broader interests around social determinants of health, with a special interest in trauma and improving outcomes for marginalized adolescents. In 2015, Dr. Castillo received the Center for AIDS Research Red Ribbon award recognizing her work on behalf of adolescents in the field HIV prevention research in Philadelphia. She has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including Philadelphia FIGHT and GALAEI. Dr. Castillo received her PhD in public health and her master’s degree in education from Temple University.


Anderson Schlupp, MS

Anderson started with the Adolescent Initiative at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia since 2012. During his time at CHOP he has enjoyed collaborating with research participants, working alongside a stellar multidisciplinary team, fostering relationships with community agencies, and managing data. His passion lies in working with members from marginalized communities, specifically the LGBTQ community, to empower them during their health journeys. Anderson graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from Drexel University and earned a Master of Science in 2019 Drexel as well.


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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.

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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.

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