The HMP platform is supports a range of research projects related to health and wellness. Scroll through to read about each project or click the buttons below!

Current Projects

Projects Coming Soon

Completed Projects

HMP Stigma

HMP Stigma logo

Title: Increasing engagement and improving HIV care outcomes via stigma reduction in an online social networking intervention among racially diverse young men who have sex with men and transgender women

Clinical Trials #: NCT03678181
Principal Investigators: Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH (m-PI);  Kate Muessig, PhD; José Bauermeister, MPH, PhD
Study Coordinators: Aimee Rochelle, MPH; Carissa Crews, MPH, CHC; Jesse Golinkoff, MPH; Willey Lin, MBiotech
Partners: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of Pennsylvania
Study Sponsors: U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH)

HMP is an app-delivered intervention designed with and for young, Black and Latinx gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men and transgender women. The intervention aims to improve HIV prevention and care by providing a platform where participants can find social support, build community, and engage with issues that matter to them.


MASI logo

Study Title: Piloting a Smartphone App to Improve Treatment Adherence Among South African Adolescents Living With HIV

Clinical Trials #: NCT04661878
Principal Investigator: Dr. Marta Mulawa (Duke University)
Co-Investigators: Dr. Jackie Hoare (University of Cape Town) and Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman (University of North Carolina)
Partners: University of Cape Town (South Africa); Duke University School of Nursing (USA); University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA)
Study Sponsor: U.S. National Institute of Mental Health

The purpose of this study is to customize and pilot MASI (MAsakhane Siphucule Impilo Yethu, Xhosa for “Let’s empower each other and improve our health”), an app-based intervention to promote adherence to HIV treatment among adolescents living with perinatally-acquired HIV in Cape Town, South Africa.


PrEPresent logo

Title: PrEPresent: An Online PrEP Navigation and Activation Intervention for YMSM/Trans/Non-binary Youth in the Los Angeles Metro Area

Clinical Trials #: NCT05281393
Principal Investigators: Michele Kipke, PhD; Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH
Partners: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA); University of Southern California; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Study Sponsors: National Institute on Drug Abuse

PrEPresent is a study to develop and pilot test a PrEP activation, navigation and support intervention for Black and Latino young men who have sex with men (BYMSM, L-YMSM) in the Los Angeles metro area.


Vuka logo

Title: Effectiveness of Smartphone Application for Adherence Support in Adolescent Girls and Young Women

Principal Investigator(s): Homaira Hanif (CONRAD/EVMS); Gustavo Doncel (CONRAD/EVMS)
Co-Investigators: Kate Muessig, PhD (UNC); Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH (UNC); Betsy Tolley, PhD (FHI-360); Rachel Lenzi-Weisbecker, MPH (FHI-360); Katherine Gill (DTHF); Linda-Gail Bekker, MBChB, DTMH, DCH, FCP (DTHF)
Partners: Contraception Research and Development (CONRAD) at Eastern Virginia Medical School; the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; FHI 360
Study Sponsor: The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Vuka+ is designed to support women by providing health and wellness information, connection to a supportive community of other women, and resources about relationships, wellness, and sexual health.


Study Title: PrEP US NoW: PrEP Utilization through Increasing Social Capital Among YBMSM Networks with Women

Clinical Trials #: Coming soon
Principle Investigators: Latesha Elopre (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Sophia Hussen (Emory University)
Co-Investigators: Dr. Michael Mugavero (UAB), Janet Turan (UAB), Lisa Hightow-Weidman (UNC), John Schneider (University of Chicago), and Dustin Long (UAB)
Partners: University of Alabama at Birmingham; Emory University; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

We propose to leverage YBMSM’s supportive connections with Black women to develop PrEP US NoW (PrEP Utilization through increasing Social Capital among YBMSM Networks with Women), a novel mobile health intervention that will engage Black women as facilitators in existing networks of YBMSM, as a way of enhancing social capital, decreasing intersectional stigma, and promoting PrEP uptake within the network. The central feature of the PrEP US NoW intervention will be real-time, virtual discussions led by a trained Black woman facilitator, delivered to an existing network of YBMSM. This study will be conducted in an epicenter of the Southern HIV epidemic: Alabama.


A community engagement platform for sexual and gender minority youth across the United States to support their well-being and resilience.

A collaboration with The University of Pennsylvania and The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

More info coming soon!


Study Title: Suicide prevention intervention for vulnerable merging adult sexual minorities

Principal Investigators: José Bauermeister, MPH, PhD; Lily Brown, PhD
Partners: University of Pennsylvania; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Study Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (NIH)

STARS is an app-delivered intervention designed with and for young sexual and gender minorities (YSGM) at risk for suicide in Philadelphia. The app aims to reduce YSGM’s suicidal ideation and reinforced the intention to adhere to their safety plan.

STARS will focus on three major skill sets: 1) self-management skills (e.g., setting, and enacting goals to promote positive affect); 2) social skills (e.g., elicitation of social support); and 3) personal skills (e.g., coping with discrimination more effectively and seeking out safe spaces). With the support of peer mentors, YSGM can set goals to shift their sense of mastery (to improve positive affect), engage with a community that understands their needs (to improve social connection), and identify local resources that support their well-being (to improve coping and reduce the impact of discrimination on their well-being). Finally, STARS will promote the use of the Safety Plan by equipping peer mentors to discuss barriers to enact the Safety Plan through scheduled appointments.

More info coming soon!

PrEP Malaysia

Coming soon!

Lu Dedoo

Coming soon!

PrEP Romania

PrEP Romania logo

Title: Preparing for pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation in Central-Eastern European Countries with low access to biomedical prevention

Clinical Trials #: NCT05323123
Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Corina Lelutiu-Weinberger (Rutgers)
Co-Investigators: Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman (UNC), Dr. John Pachankis (Yale)
Partners: Rutgers University; Yale School of Public Health; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Study Sponsor: Fogarty International Center

To address the unmet HIV-prevention needs of Romanian GBM, our established US-Romanian team proposes to introduce a culturally-responsive PrEP program in Romania. We will integrate and adapt two tools that we developed and tested in the US 1) SPARK, an in-person motivational intervention for uptake of and adherence to PrEP using an empowering sexual health approach; and 2) P3 (Prepared, Protected, emPowered), a PrEP adherence support app that utilizes engaging social networking and game-based elements, with an in-app portal for individualized live adherence counseling.

TRANSforming the Carolinas

Principal Investigator(s): Tonia Poteat, PhD, MPH, PA-C (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Co-Investigators: Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman, MD, MPH (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Meagan Zarwell (University of North Carolina – Charlotte); Sayward Harrison (University of South Carolina)
Study Coordinator: Nastacia Pereira, MPH (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Partners: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; University of South Carolina; University of North Carolina – Charlotte; The Wright Wellness Center; Mecklenburg County; Medical University of South Carolina; Roper St. Francis; DHEC
Study Sponsor: UNC CFAR supplement from NIAID

The purpose of this study is to develop and pilot a community health worker (CHW) training module designed to address the barriers to HIV prevention and care for transgender people of color (TPOC) living in North Carolina (NC) and South Carolina (SC).