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Effective Interventions

Core Elements & Fact Sheet

About d-up: Defend Yourself!

d-up: Defend Yourself! is a community-level intervention for black men who have sex with men (MSM). d-up! is designed to change social norms and perceptions of black MSM regarding condom use. d-up! finds and enlists opinion leaders whose advice is respected and trusted by their peers. These opinion leaders are trained to change risky sexual norms in their own social networks.

Intervention/Strategy Goals:

  1. d-up! aims to increase condom use with main and other sex partners among black MSM.

Intervention/Strategy Core Elements*:

  • Direct d-up! to an identified at-risk target population in well-defined community venues.
  • Use key informants and systematic observation.
  • Recruit and train opinion leaders from each friendship group found in the intervention venue.
  • Raise opinion leaders’ awareness of how negative social and cultural factors impact black MSM’s sexual risk behavior.
  • Teach opinion leaders skills for putting risk reduction endorsement messages into everyday conversations.
  • Teach opinion leaders the elements of effective behavior change messages.
  • Train opinion leaders to endorse the benefits of safer sex in their conversations.
  • Hold weekly sessions for small groups of opinion leaders.
  • Have opinion leaders set goals to hold risk-reduction conversations.
  • Review, discuss, and reinforce the outcomes of the opinion leaders’ conversations.
  • Use logos, symbols, or other items as “conversation starters.”
*Core elements are the characteristics of an individual intervention presumed to be responsible for the efficacy of the intervention.

Additional Information

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