Friends Getting Off

Principal Investigator: Cathy J. Reback, Ph.D.
Funded By: Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health, Division of HIV and STD Programs. 10/1/09 – 6/30/18
Funded By: City of West Hollywood, 10/1/13 – 9/30/19
Grant #: PH-001039
Total Project Period: 10/1/06 – 6/30/20

Methamphetamine use is significantly associated with HIV infection among gay, bisexual and MSM populations, predominantly through high-risk sexual behaviors that are facilitated by use of the drug. Despite a decade-long trend of declining sero-conversions among MSM, this population continues to be at the core of the AIDS epidemic. In the last decade, researchers have been credited with developing, testing, and refining a number of noteworthy HIV-prevention interventions as well as substance abuse treatment interventions. Community programs have been encouraged to implement or adopt empirically validated interventions; however, disseminating these interventions into non-research settings has been challenging. This HIV prevention program transfers and implements a methamphetamine abuse treatment/HIV risk reduction intervention into a community setting. The intervention consists of an 8-week, 24 session gay-specific cognitive behavioral therapy (GCBT) intervention (“Getting Off: A Behavioral Treatment Intervention for Gay and Bisexual Male Methamphetamine Users” authored by Drs. Steve Shoptaw and Cathy J. Reback, in collaboration with colleagues, available for download at, combined with a low cost contingency management (CM) behavioral intervention. The CM intervention involves providing vouchers redeemable for goods or services that promote a healthy methamphetamine-free lifestyle in exchange for urine samples that are methamphetamine metabolite-free. Phase I, weeks one through eight, couples the evidenced-based, manual-driven, GCBT intervention (i.e., “Getting Off” manual) with a CM intervention. Phase II, weeks nine and ongoing, consists of open-ended, support groups. Assessments are conducted at baseline and 3-months post admission.