Study name: The RADAR Study: Multilevel influences on HIV and Substance use in a YMSM cohort

Principal Investigator: Brian Mustanski, PhD
PI email:

Staff contact: Antonia Clifford
Staff email:
Institution: Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

Brief description of study and population:
The overall goal of the RADAR study is to identify and understand the connections among sexually transmitted infections (like HIV), drug and alcohol use, and romantic or sexual relationship patterns over time among young men who have sex with men (YMSM). This cooperative agreement with the National Institute on Drug Abuse marks the first time that one study will look at drivers of new HIV infections at multiple levels- the genetics of the virus, effects of medications, individual behavior, sexual partner and relationship characteristics, networks, and community-level factors.

Age range: 16-29+

HIV status: negative (~80%), positive (~20%)

Race and ethnicity: All. Approx. 34% African American, 30% Hispanic, and 24% White/Caucasian.

Overall accrual for study: Approximately 1,350 participants

Key inclusion/exclusion criteria:
Individuals may be included in this study and the longitudinal study cohort if they are male-identified at birth and either a seed participant already enrolled in one of our ongoing studies: 2007 Cohort (Project Q2), 2010 Cohort (Crew450), OR be eligible via the following criteria:
▪ Be male assigned at birth;
▪ Be between 16 and 29 years of age;
▪ Be an English speaker;
▪ Report having sex with a male in the prior year OR identify as gay/bisexual/queer; and
▪ Live in the Chicago area.

In addition, limited enrollment is allowed for those referred by a seed participant, or if they are the serious partner of an individual enrolled in the longitudinal study cohort and male-identified at birth). The criteria for being a serious partner are 1) male-identified at birth; 2) having their partnership type defined as “serious” by the cohort member; and 3) being age 16 years or older. In addition, subjects 18 to 26 will be offered participation in an optional substudy of HPV knowledge, attitudes, and experiences.

Recruitment status: Open to partner enrollment, active follow up with all participants

Visit frequency: 6 months

Enrollment period: 2015-current

Biological specimens: Plasma, serum, whole blood/PBMC/Rectal Swab (1x year)

Other Self-reported data: Depression screening/Substance use/Sexual behavior/Income, Socio-economic status/Social support/Network characteristics/Relationship dynamics/Medication adherence/Use of health services, insurance status/Other: Mental health, victimization, discrimination, etc

Clinical and health assessment data: HIV tests/Viral load/T-cells/Syphillis, other STIs/Other: Urine Drug Screen, Height and Weight

Other key measures: PrEP Use and stigma, Partner and dyadic data, Neighborhood characteristics, etc.

Additional information you would like to share: 

For information about collaborations or access to the data, individuals can submit a Substudy Request by visiting