We recruited participants from community-based ASOs (AIDS Service Organizations) in San Francisco that provided services for HIV+ gay and bisexual men. All interviews were conducted at a centrally located San Francisco ASO. Interviews lasted 1.5 to 2 hours.


Eligibility criteria:

  • over 18 years of age
  • able to communicate in English
  • became infected with HIV in the past 2 years.

Recruitment methods

  • There were three sources of participants:
    • flyers in AIDS Serivce Organizations (ASOs)
    • referrals from ASO clinicians and staff
    • word of mouth from other participants
  • recruitment was directed to increase the diversity of the sample
  • all potential participants had telephone screening prior to scheduling appointment

Interview Guide

SNAP was a pilot qualitative study in which we interviewed 28 men who had recently seroconverted. CAPS worked with Stop AIDS Project, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Project, UCSF AIDS Health Project, Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, and Bay Positives to recruit men into the sample. Participants were paid $50 for the interview.

Below is a sample of the interview questions:

Seroconversion Narrative
Each interview began with this open-ended question to elicit the seroconversion narrative:
“Tell me the story about how it happened that you were infected with HIV”
This question was followed by a series of probes about the respondents’ life circumstances surrounding the seroconversion event.

Testing Narrative
When did you first test positive for HIV?
What does your life look like now since you became infected with HIV?

Current Prevention Ideas/Practices
How do you express yourself sexually now?
Have you changed the ways you use drugs or alcohol?
Prevention messages to HIV- and HIV+ men

At the end of each interview respondents were asked what prevention message they would give to an HIV+ man and to an HIV- man.

For tips on how to conduct qualitative interviews, please see Pointers on In-Depth Interviewing from Good Questions, Better Answers.

Last modified: January 18, 2011