for males ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at San Francisco, California
study started
estimated completion:
Mallory O. Johnson



This is a randomized controlled trial of a new behavioral intervention designed to improve engagement in HIV care for same-sex male couples. Investigators will compare the HIV viral load outcomes of couples randomized to a couples-based adherence intervention (DuoPACT) or to an individual adherence intervention (LifeSteps).

Official Title

A Couples-based Approach to Improving Engagement in HIV Care


The investigators will test the intervention to improve HIV care engagement by enrolling 150 same-sex male couples and randomizing 75 couples each to one of two conditions: 1) DuoPACT, a newly-developed couples intervention; or 2) LifeSteps, a standardized antiretroviral adherence intervention for HIV+ individuals. After randomization, intervention sessions will be delivered weekly (6 DuoPACT sessions, or 3 Life Steps sessions). All couples will be assessed pre/post intervention to evaluate intervention effects via behavioral indicators of engagement in HIV care, the couple's relationship dynamics, and the primary outcome of HIV viral load.


HIV/AIDS Treatment Adherence Intervention MSM Couples DuoPACT LifeSteps


You can join if…

Open to males ages 18 years and up

  1. 18+ years old;
  2. Assigned male sex at birth and currently identifies as male;
  3. In a primary romantic relationship with another man for at least 3 months;
  4. At least one partner is HIV+;
  5. English-speaking;
  6. Able to provide informed consent; and
  7. For HIV+ men: Evidence of suboptimal engagement in HIV care.

You CAN'T join if...

  1. Must be able to consent to and follow study protocol.
  2. Evidence of severe cognitive impairment or active psychosis.
  3. Plans to relocate from Bay Area in the next 6 months.


  • Center for AIDS Prevention Studies accepting new patients
    San Francisco California 94158 United States

Lead Scientist

  • Mallory O. Johnson
    I am a licensed clinical health psychologist, whose research has focused on understanding, measuring, and improving the health of patients with chronic diseases such as HIV. My program of multidisciplinary collaborative research is focused on improving HIV treatment outcomes through patient empowerment. My teaching mission is primarily achieved through my mentoring of early career investigators.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Last Updated