Research Studies

RAIN has partnered with the Behavior and Technology Lab (BATLab) at UNC Chapel Hill to enroll participants in HIV-related research. As a partner of the BATLab, we at RAIN believe in the power and importance of research in order to provide services to best support our community. Research offers participants and researchers alike the opportunity to navigate HIV prevention and HIV care in ways that are most beneficial to our community. The studies we are conducting with the BATLab look at HIV ART (Anti-Retroviral Therapy) usage and adherence, viral load maintenance, mental health and wellness, substance use, sexual health, HIV stigma, and disclosing HIV status among many other areas of HIV wellness. Our partnership also includes HIV prevention studies around the use of PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), an HIV prevention medication.

As a service organization, RAIN is proud to have this opportunity to include our local community in the vital area of HIV research. Please take a moment to look through each study and see what might be of interest to you. Once we begin enrolling participants, you will be able to find current studies under “active studies” along with screener links to see if you are eligible to enroll individual studies.


For inquiries and questions:

Jesse Elkins Research Coordinator
e: j.elkins@carolinarain.org
p: 704-973-9822

 

ACTIVE STUDIES

NO ACTIVE STUDIES CURRENTLY


UPCOMING STUDIES

Tough Talks

An app for smartphones or tablets, designed for young men who have sex with men living with HIV. This app is designed to provide interactive information to learn about disclosing your HIV status to sex partners and other folks, emphasizing choice in status disclosure; not designed to push disclosing your status. This app includes activities like choose-your-own-adventure-style games, fill-in-the-blanks, and self-reflections. Tough Talks allows practice for disclosing your status in a safe space, through the use of a virtual reality character.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in this study?

A: People who fit the following criteria may be eligible:

  • Assigned male at birth & currently male identified
  • Age 16 – 29
  • Living with HIV
  • Owns and has reliable access to a smart phone or tablet with a data plan
  • Able to read, speak, and understand English
  • Has a VL (viral load) measurement within a year prior to completing study screener survey

Q: How long is this study?

A: Each participant will visit with our RAIN study coordinator to enroll in the study. After that, depending on which research arm you are randomly assigned to, you will meet with the coordinator at 2 weeks, 1-month, 3-months, and 6-months, for a total time of 6 months.

Q: Will I be compensated for my participation?

A: Yes! Depending on the research arm you are randomly assigned to, and upon enrollment, survey, and meeting completions, you will receive between $150 – $300.


AllyQuest

AllyQuest is an app for smartphones to help young men and transgender women living with HIV take their meds every day. You can set up personalized reminders to take your meds and track them in the app, helping you build a habit of taking your meds every day. AllyQuest also lets you connect with other users anonymously, has personalized information about health topics that users prioritize, and has space for users to anonymously connect and talk with other young men and transgender women living with HIV.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in this study?

A: People who fit the following criteria may be eligible:

  • Age 15 – 24
  • Speak and read English
  • Living with HIV
  • Has a smart phone with a data plan

Q: How long is this study?

A: Participants will remain in the study for 6 months and are asked to use the app every day (~5 min). There are study visits (in person or remote) at enrollment, 3 months, and 6 months.

Q: Will I be compensated for my participation?

A: Yes! Depending on the research arm you are randomly assigned to and upon enrollment and completion of tasks, you may receive up to $295.


YouTHrive

YouTHrive is a web-based app connecting youth and young adults to optimized anti-retroviral therapy adherence testing. This mobile-enhanced website is designed for daily use for 5 months: peer-to-peer interaction, daily new content for adherence barriers, self-monitoring anti-retroviral therapy adherence and mood through gaming features.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in this study?

A: People who fit the following criteria may be eligible:

  • Age 15 – 24
  • Living with HIV
  • Residing in Charlotte, NC and available to meet with RAIN staff in person/online at baseline, 5 months, and 11 months
  • Evidence of current HIV anti-retroviral therapy prescription
  • English-speaking
  • Has access to internet continuously
  • Not a member of an iTech Youth Advisory Board

Q: How long is this study?

A: Participants will remain in the study for 11 months.

Q: Will I be compensated for my participation?

A: Yes! Depending on the research arm you are randomly assigned to, and upon enrollment and study completion, participants may earn up to $295.


COMPARE

Comparison of usage of LYNX (information, motivation, behavior model app) & MyChoices (social cognitive theory model app), comparing key objectives: increasing HIV/STI testing and increasing PrEP uptake.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in this study?

A: People who fit following criteria may be eligible:

  • Age 15 – 24
  • Assigned male at birth and male identified
  • Self-report being HIV negative or HIV status-unknown at screening
  • Self-report having not had an HIV test in last 3 months
  • Self-report not currently taking PrEP.
  • Able to understand, read, and speak English
  • Owns or leases a phone with Android or iOS platform + active data plan
  • Willing/able to attend an in-person baseline study visit at RAIN

Q: How long is this study?

A: Participants will remain in the study for 12 months.

Q: Will I be compensated for my participation?

A: Yes! Depending on the research arm you are randomly assigned to, and upon enrollment and study completion, participants will earn up to $250.


P3 (Prepared, Protected, emPowered)

P3 is an app for smartphones that helps young men and transgender women on PrEP take their PrEP every day. Users can set up a personalized medication tracker that sends out discreet med reminders and allows users to track if they took their meds. Users can connect with other young people on PrEP on the social wall and complete activities in the apps to earn points and extra money.

Q: Who is eligible to participate in this study?

A: People who fit all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Age 16 – 24
  • Speaks English
  • Has a smart phone with a data plan
  • HIV negative
  • On PrEP or about to start PrEP

Q: How long is this study?

A: Participants will remain in the study for 6 months. People who get the P3 app are asked to use the app every day for 3 months, about 5 minutes or less a day. There are study visits (remote or in person) at enrollment, 3 months, and 6 months. Study participation involves giving a blood sample via finger prick at study visits.

Q: Will I be compensated for my participation?

A: Yes! Depending on the research arm you are randomly assigned to, and upon enrollment and study completion, participants may earn between $150 – $325.