Adolescent and Emerging Adult Health Disparities Program


The Adolescent and Emerging Adult Health Disparities Program, led by Dr. Sylvie Naar, focuses on developing and testing behavioral interventions to promote health equity among adolescents and emerging adults.  The program includes several projects across the continuum of translation including early phase trials, clinical trials, effectiveness trials, and implementation trials. Studies are centered around improving health equity with behavioral interventions targeting the management of HIV, obesity, asthma, and diabetes.

For more information regarding this program, please contact Dr. Sylvie Naar at


HIV Prevention and Treatment Programs for Youth

This initiative addresses the translation of behavioral interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV in adolescents and emerging adults,  includes T1 translation (the development of new intervention), T2 translation (clinical trials), T3 translation (effectiveness trials) and T4 I translation (implementation trials).  The initiative directly addresses the HIV epidemic in Florida as a collaboration between Scale It Up - Florida and the Florida Adolescent and Young Adult Sexual Health (FLASH) Network, a community-based research network of clinical and community partners participating in translational behavioral research studies.

Scale It Up - Florida Advancements in research and health care for adolescents and young adults are the result of youth-focused research initiatives. Scale It Up (SIU) Florida is a youth-focused, community-based research network consortium focused on HIV and other sexual health issues in adolescents and emerging adults (age 13-29) in Florida. SIU Florida addresses the translation of behavioral interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV in adolescents and emerging adults. Read more about Scale It Up Florida.

Healthy Choices - HIV is an evidence-informed intervention. Adapted from Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET), Healthy Choices is comprised of four 30-45 minute sessions that can be led by paraprofessional staff or other provider types to encourage antiretroviral treatment adherence and reductions in alcohol use and other substance use for youth living with HIV. Healthy Choices has also been shown to improve sexual risk behaviors and depression. The sessions are delivered over 3 months, typically week 1, week 2, week 8 and week 12. Other target behaviors relevant to self-management may also be addressed. The intervention is based on Tailored Motivational Interviewing (TMI). Motivational Interviewing (MI) is “a collaborative conversation style for strengthening a person’s own motivation and commitment to change”. Motivational Interviewing conversational style may also be thought of as guiding a person to change, rather than directing them to follow change. Healthy Choices is based on TMI, MI tailored with communication science studies of HIV clinic interactions to address target behaviors for persons living with HIV. Read more about Healthy Choices.

Tailored Motivational Interviewing - HIV is an evidence-informed intervention comprised of brief, single sessions that can be led by peer-level staff to encourage engagement and retention in care for persons with HIV to address a multitude of behaviors relevant to HIV prevention and treatment. TMI is MI tailored based on communication studies of HIV clinic interactions and adaptations of MI for young people (read Dr. Naar's book "Motivational Interviewing with Adolescents and Young Adults"). TMI can vary from a single brief encounter to multiple sessions based on client need and organizational context. Sessions in home-based or office settings can last 45 minutes to an hour, while sessions in medical clinics or street-outreach contexts may take 15 minutes or less. Learn more about this intervention here: More about TMI - HIV.

Community-Engaged Dissemination and Implementation Research

Community-engaged dissemination and implementation research (CEDI) focuses on research involving dissemination or implementation of evidence-based health interventions within clinical or community-based settings using community-engaged processes or partnerships.  It focuses on stakeholder input at each stage of the research process utilizing and addressing bioethical concerns using mixed methods designs and community/stakeholder advisory groups.

Preventing Comorbidity in Minority Young Adults

This initiative seeks to describe the general health behaviors that consistently underlie multicomorbidity in young adults of color (Physical Activity, Sleep, Smoking, Alcohol, and Nutrition), desribe stressors and teir relationship to health behaviors, to assess family history of comorbidity, and to assess pragmatic health outcomes. This project will look at young adults between the ages of 18-29 who self-identify as Black, Latinx or mixed race and live in the North Florida area. 


Adolescent Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions Scale It Up Program

  • Principal Investigator: Dr. Sylvie Naar

  • Specific Aims: Scale it Up - specifically focuses on the development, evaluation and implementation of interventions that are effective for improving self-management in at-risk and HIV+ youth. Scale It Up has assembled research teams who will develop, test and bring to practice self-management interventions that positively impact the youth HIV prevention and care cascades. These goals will be achieved by:

    1. Designing, conducting and evaluating self-management interventions, involving 500 youth, grounded in the 5-component Self-Management Model and expeditiously moving them into practice.

    2. Developing, deploying and disseminating new methods for implementation and implementation analysis with a strong theoretical foundation (EPIS).

    3. Engaging with the other funded U19s to identify additional opportunities to advance the fields of implementation science and self-management science.

  • Learn more about this project here: