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Current Research Activities

Participate In Our Study!

How can we improve public health in Charlotte?

We’re looking for people living in the Charlotte area to participate in a confidential research study about sexual health, public health services, and social connections. Participants can receive up to $70 in Amazon gift cards.

How can you participate?

  • 20-minute online survey you take on your own about your personal relationships ($20) 
  • 60-minute phone or Zoom interview about your experiences getting testing and health care ($50) 

Are you eligible?

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Live in the Charlotte, NC area
  • Have received services such as HIV/STI testing, PrEP, or other sexual health treatment in the past 1 year  

Personal Network Survey

We are currently recruiting members of the Charlotte community who have recently engaged in public health or sexual health services for our Personal Network Survey. This is a confidential online survey that guides participants in describing their immediate social circles, including people who provide them with social support, and/or who have been sexual or drug use partners. The survey takes about 20 minutes to complete and participants receive a $20 gift card upon completion. Learn more about the Personal Network Survey here.

Community Member Interviews

From fall of 2023 through spring of 2024, we conducted in-depth interviews with members of key populations in the Charlotte community who had recently engaged in public health or sexual health services. Through these interviews, we aim to learn more about people’s experiences with getting services, including barriers they faced, and what things would help people to engage more in services, such as different ways people can recruit their peers to come in for HIV testing or care.

Molecular Epidemiology

Data from public health surveillance systems will be collected to help characterize recent HIV transmission clusters. To investigate interstate patterns of HIV transmission, surveillance data from North Carolina’s EDSS database will be merged with data from South Carolina’s eHARS. Learn more about what molecular epidemiology is by visiting our page with resources about social network strategies and molecular epidemiology.

Earlier Research Activities

Community Leadership Interviews

In-depth interviews with leaders at public health agencies and community organizations, and people engaged in HIV services, have contributed to RESPOND’s qualitative research component. Interviews were held in early 2023 and provided diverse insights into barriers and facilitators to greater engagement with HIV services and input on how to adapt an Enhanced Social Network Strategy to the Charlotte region.

Focus Groups

Focus groups with public health professionals were held in December 2022 and led by qualitative research specialists at the UNC Center for AIDS Research, who conduct the study’s qualitative interviews and analysis. Participants included public health investigators, peer support specialists, and social workers, who shared their experiences directly engaging clients in HIV care and prevention services.