Updated: Mar 22
KEEP IT UP, RHODE ISLAND!
Program focuses on the sexual, mental, and emotional health of young gay and bi+ men
Keep It Up! (KIU) is a program for young gay and bi+ men ages 18-29 that gives them an opportunity to learn more about a variety of topics that hit close to home—from dating to HIV/ STI testing to navigating a world that can sometimes seem a bit tough, even before the COVID-19 pandemic radically changed all our lives last year.
A collaboration between APRI and Northwestern University, KIU is part of an ongoing project that aims to increase access to and quality of care for young queer men. While initially designed for cis men, trans men are welcome to sign up and may also benefit from KIU.
The KIU “curriculum” includes five 45-minute online episodes that unlock as participants complete them, so it can be done from any device, whether a phone, tablet, or laptop. As participants watch episodes and participate in quizzes and other scenario-based Q&As, they learn more about a variety of topics and gain skills that clarify and answer questions about safer sex strategies, mental and emotional health, and communicating their values to their partner(s) as they develop a plan that fits their overall health goals.
In addition to viewing online content, participants are asked to complete a full HIV/STI screening at the end of the program, so they can discuss and review the goals and the strategies that worked for them. Free HIV testing is available from APRI either in-person or via an at-home HIV testing kit mailed to the participant. In addition, APRI offers referrals for STI screening and healthcare services, including PrEP, which is now available in generic form at a much lower price for those with insurance.
Last but certainly not least, those who enroll in Keep It Up! and complete episodes will earn gift cards, and are eligible for a $200 raffle. Throughout the upcoming year, the APRI team will also offer other special prizes to participants. Be sure to follow KIU on Instagram @kiu.ri to stay up to date on all of these opportunities. We wish you a much healthier and happier 2021!
If you are interested in enrolling or learning more about Keep It Up!, connect with APRI Peer Health Navigator Gene Hernandez at 401-996-6142 or send an email to hello@ aprihealth.org. You can also see more at www.aidsprojectri.org/kiu.
Mikel Wadewitz is the Director at AIDS Project Rhode Island