Bay Men

NOTE: This study has ended.

Bay Men is a fun, innovative program for HIV+ gay and bisexual in the Bay Area. The program gives positive men a chance to meet and socialize with each other. Bay Men offers a safe environment where HIV+ men can have open discussions about sex, dating, personal health, and other issues in their lives. The program is run by a team of HIV+ gay and bisexual men.

Bay Men will focus on decreasing isolation of HIV+ men and engaging them in primary prevention of HIV. The study is among the first to target prevention strategies at persons who have already tested positive for HIV.


Between 1996-1998, the Positive Questions Study, which was also known as the Seropositive Men’s Study (SUMS), interviewed over 500 HIV+ gay and bisexual men throughout the Bay Area. Positive Questions Study was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was conducted here in San Francisco by the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California. It was also conducted in New York City by New Jersey City University and Rutgers University.

The goal of the project was to better understand the sexual behaviors and sexual health needs of HIV+ men who have sex with men. The study was also interested in finding out what kinds of things are associated with sexual risk taking behaviors. This information was used to develop Bay Men, also know as the Seropositive Urban Men’s Intervention Trial (SUMIT). What makes Bay Men so unique is that it comes directly from the HIV+ gay bisexual men’s community.


The Bay Men study is a randomized, controlled trial. Participants will be randomly assigned into one of two different programs: a six week series that will meet once per week or a one-time event. Both provide social and structured activities. Bay Men will collect confirmatory HIV testing through OraSure as well as collect a blood and urine sample for STD screening. Some of the topics that will be discussed at Bay Men events are:

  • Gaining support from other positive men
  • Changes in sex and relationships since testing positive
  • Dating and relationship issues
  • Drug/alcohol use and sex
  • Whether, when, and how to disclose your HIV status to sex partners
  • Coping with HIV and medications
  • Sexual risk taking and decision making
  • Maintaining your well-being
  • The latest info on re-infection, oral sex, and other HIV transmission issues

See quotes from some past Bay Men participants.


There were 12 staff on the Bay Men study researchers, administrative personnel and phlebotomists. Meet the Bay Men staff.

Last modified: October 22, 2012