Effects of a Parent-Focused HIV Prevention Intervention for Young Men Who have Sex with Men: A Pilot Randomized Clinical Trial

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



AIDS and behavior




Adolescents; Gay and bisexual; HIV prevention; Intervention; Men who have sex with men; Parenting


Young men who have sex with men (YMSM) face the highest risk of HIV infection among adolescents, yet effective sexual health interventions for this population are limited. Parents and Adolescents Talking about Healthy Sexuality (PATHS) is an online intervention for parents designed to improve communication about HIV and increase behaviors supportive of YMSM sexual health. We conducted an RCT of PATHS with sixty-one parent-son dyads recruited online (sons were cisgender, gay or bisexual, ages 14-22). Assessments were completed at baseline, immediate post-intervention, and over the next 3 months. Per parent and son report, in the 3 months following the intervention, parents assigned to PATHS engaged in more HIV discussion, condom instruction, and facilitation of HIV testing. Parents also reported significant pre- to immediate-post intervention changes in attitudes, skills, and behavioral intentions relevant to engaging with their sons about sexual health. Parents are an untapped but promising resource in preventing HIV among YMSM.This trial was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (Identifier: NCT04018573).


Prevention and Community Health