TelePCC: Personalized Cognitive Counseling via Phone to Reduce HIV Risk in MSM

Period of Performance: 04/01/2017 - 03/31/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Allen/loeb Associates
San Francisco, CA 94110
Principal Investigator


? DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): New intervention strategies are needed to prevent HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM), who continue to account for two-thirds of new HIV infections each year. Effective behavioral interventions are available, but the majority of at-risk MSM do not receive them. Most HIV prevention organizations are unable to deliver evidence-based interventions and one third of at-risk MSM do not participate in routine HIV testing, which is the typical venue for delivering behavioral interventions. Tele-health approaches, found to be effective in a variety of contexts, have the potential to make evidence-based HIV prevention interventions more available and to reach individuals who do not engage in routine HIV testing. Personalized Cognitive Counseling (PCC) is a single session, 1-to-1, face-to-face counseling intervention for high-risk MSM that was proven effective in two NIMH-funded randomized trials and is designated by the CDC as a Best-Evidence High Impact Prevention intervention. In this Phase I STTR project, Allen/Loeb Associates (developers of PCC training materials for the CDC) and the developer of PCC (Dr. James Dilley at the University of California, San Francisco) will develop a telephone version of PCC, TelePCC, that will make PCC available outside of testing venues and overcome many of the limitations of current implementation strategies. Telephone delivery will allow expert counselors to deliver PCC to widely dispersed high-risk MSM. This Phase I project will use an iterative, mixed-methods approach to develop TelePCC and refine existing research methods to evaluate its effectiveness in a Phase II trial. Aims are: (1) Develop and test TelePCC in 2 cohorts of 10 MSM recruited during HIV testing, and (2) Develop and test TelePCC in 2 cohorts of 10 MSM who do not participate in HIV testing. Usability of TelePCC, outreach and engagement materials, and outcome measures will be quantitatively and qualitatively evaluated and refined after each cohort. The results of this Phase I project will inform a Phase II trial examining the effectivenes of TelePCC using the outcome metrics used in the original PCC trials. The goal of Phase II would be to create a version of TelePCC that is marketable to state and local health departments, agencies interested in providing TelePCC, sellers of HIV self-test kits, as well as to the CDC and other government agencies promoting HIV prevention interventions.