Gay men wanted for focus group

If you’re a gay male, HIV negative and sexually active with other men, the HIV Vaccine Trials Network wants to have your reactions about some potential advertising and marketing ideas.

The group will be in Nashville on Wednesday, May 30 to hold focus groups to review the concept ads. Participants for the groups will be paid $50 each. You must be between the ages of 18 to 45, be sexually active with other men, be HIV negative (or don’t know your HIV status), and sit through a two-hour focus group.

“We are looking for a total of about 20 men, with about half of them in each of the two groups,” explained Sarah B. Alexander, associate director of Communications and External Relations for the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. “The first group will be from 5 to 6:45 p.m., and the second group from 7 to 8:45 p.m.”

Alexander said participants will be provided with food and beverages and that it was important they hear from Nashvillians.

“We really need to hear their ideas and reactions about some possible advertising/marketing concepts that may be used to raise awareness and recruit people into HIV vaccine studies,” she said.

The focus group is not part of another HIV event which is being held the same evening. That event, Putting Discovery into Practice: How New HIV Science Benefits Our Community, will feature four Vanderbilt University physicians whose work includes various types of HIV/AIDS research, who will answer questions about how the latest findings impact HIV treatment and prevention. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on May 30, at the Holiday Inn Select Vanderbilt on West End Avenue in Nashville and will include a dinner buffet.

“We've had an excellent RSVP rate and there is a lot of talk,” said Mark Hubbard, who’s organized the “discovery” event and is chair, Tennessee Association of People With AIDS Liaison, and on the Vanderbilt AIDS Clinical Trials Center Community Advisory Board.

Both events are being held the week of Nashville’s PrideFest. That same night the two events will also compete with Pride’s spirituality night at the Blair School of Music and an event at Blue Gene’s/Club Blu called “calling all women”.

If you are interested in participating in the HIV Vaccine Trials Network advertising/marketing focus group, please email

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