What is Project Gel?
Project Gel is a federally-funded clinical research study that is being conducted at three sites in the United States, including: The University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), Fenway Health (Boston, MA), and the University of Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR).
Why is This Study Being Conducted?
There are three main purposes of this study. In Part 1, the main purpose is to find out more about the sexual health of young men who have sex with men, including how common sexually transmitted infections are among this group of men. In Part 2, the main purpose is to find out how young men feel about using a gel in their rectum prior to anal sex and whether or not they actually use it prior to anal sex. The gel in Part 2 is a placebo gel, meaning it does not have any medicine in it. In Part 3, the main purpose is to find out if a gel with medicine (a microbicide gel) is safe to use and to learn how men feel about using a microbicide gel in their rectum.
Who Can Participate?
Are you 18-30 years old? A man who has sex with men? Willing to be tested for HIV? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you may be eligible to participate in Project Gel!
Why Should I Participate in Project Gel?
HIV infections are increasing worldwide (5 million/year), with 63% of all HIV/AIDS cases in the U.S. in gay and bisexual men. New strategies are needed to prevent HIV infection. Microbicides are being studied as new ways to prevent HIV infection.
Why Can’t People Just Use Condoms?
Condoms are effective, but not always available, not always used, and often break or slip if used incorrectly. Rectal microbicides could be discreetly used by tops and bottoms who don’t have access to and/or don’t want to use condoms.
What Happens If I Enroll?
If you enroll, you will: Be tested for HIV, complete a physical exam, including an anal exam, and be asked questions about your medical and sexual history.
How Many Visits Are Required?
Project Gel consists of at least one and possibly up to nine visits. Some participants will be asked to return for subsequent visits to participate in Part 2 and Part 3 of the study, while others will only go as far as Part 1, which requires only one visit.
Will I Receive Compensation For My Participation?
Who is Sponsoring Project Gel?
The study is being paid for by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), branches of the National Institutes of Health.
Where Do I Sign Up or Get More Information?
Visit the Project Gel website.