Because of research focused on young people, major advancements in research and health care for youth have increased! Scale It Up Florida strives to step in and talk about how behaviors and mental processes affect prevention and treatment of HIV as well as other sexual health-related topics in young people. Check out our past and recent studies and programs below!

Bioethical Issues in Engaging Lost to Follow Up Youth in HIV Care and Research (Dissemination of findings/results pending)

BACKGROUND: Youth at risk for HIV and youth living with HIV are not well represented in research related to sexual health. The reasons behind this include concerns around safety, privacy, and potential harm. By seeking to better understand the views of young people living with HIV, researchers may help improve methods and programs that help HIV positive youth feel comfortable in participating in research studies and get the care they need.
  • This virtual research study intends to help youth that are living with HIV.
  • We would like to understand views of cultural and ethical issues that may make it hard for young people to stay in HIV care and engage in HIV research.


  • We are looking for young people to share a little bit about any challenges they may have faced and thoughts they may have about staying in HIV care and taking part in HIV research.
  • Are you between the ages of 15-24 and living with HIV? We would like to hear your voice as a Youth Stakeholder.


  • We are looking for professionals to share a little bit about any challenges or issues they see that may impact youth staying in care and taking part in research.
  • Are you a provider, public health official or researcher that has experience working with youth (15-24) living with HIV? Please share your voice with us as a Professional Stakeholder.


  • Participants in this study will be asked to participate in an individual phone interview to share their voice on challenges and issues that prevent youth living with HIV from staying in care and participating in HIV research.
  • After enrolling in the study, you will be asked to schedule your individual interview with a study team member at a day/time that works for you.
  • Participants will be compensated a $10 e-gift card for their participation.

iREP: A Digital Community Needs Assessment to Represent, Engage, and Empower Sexually or Gender-Diverse Young People in Florida (In follow-up stage)

We are exploring the physical, social, mental, and sexual health needs of LGBTQ+ adolescents and young adults in Florida. It is important to us that efforts to improve health outcomes of young people like you are actually meeting your needs, which are always changing. This virtual study aims to learn a little bit about you and your ideas on health, wellbeing, empowerment, sources of health information, and online activity interests.

Participants in this study included LGBTQ+ folks who are:

  • Ages 15-29
  • Identify as gender-diverse individuals or members of the LGBTQ+ community
The search for interested participants has ended, and we are now in the research and follow-up stage of the study, where we will follow up on discussed needs, barriers, and solutions with the folks who have participated.




Piloting a Youth Learning Health Community - Innovations in Big Data and Implementation Science to End the Youth HIV Epidemic in Florida

In collaboration with Florida Department of Health and Area 7  HIV/AIDS Program Office, this Ending the Youth HIV Epidemic in Florida demonstration project is funded by the National Institution (NIH) and Adolescent Trials Networks for HIV/AIDS (ATN).


This Study proposes to pilot test a Youth Learning Health Community plus health-force training to end the HIV epidemic in young people in Florida (Y-LHC+). The Y-LHC+ includes workforce development within public health agencies or community-based organizations (CBOs), with structured county-wide strategic planning and accessible comprehensive health outcomes data.


We invite Ryan White organizations who provide testing, HIV treatment and case management, and PrEP to youth (13-24) in Orange County, Florida to collaborate with FDOH and FSU to End the Youth HIV Epidemic in Florida. 

Please click on the link below to schedule a short meeting for more info at your convenience.

Orange County Youth Learning Health Community Demonstration Project



SHARE Program: Innovations in Translational Behavioral Science to Improve Self-Management of HIV and Alcohol Reaching Emerging Adults

The SHARE program is a new NIAAA-funded innovation in translational behavioral science created by Drs. Sylvie Naar and Karen MacDonell to explore and address overlaps of self-management of HIV and alcohol in young people through a Florida-wide initiative. With the help of stakeholders' and youth-led input through connections across Florida, the SHARE program will allow young adults to be heard and studied to better understand the effects of alcohol on young people living with HIV.

To read more about SHARE and our partners, click here!!

If you would like to participate, click here to be screened for eligibility!

The PROGRAM will consist of three main parts:


The main goal of this study is to see how stress is associated with how well younger people (like you!) who have HIV manage their alcohol use and HIV care. The data we collect from this study will help us create plans to improve retention into care and other factors related to stress, like sleep and emotions.



Study participants will complete baseline assessments on alcohol use, mental processes, etc. They will then participate in a 14-day sleep diary (twice a day, morning and night) recording their thoughts, feelings, and other sleep-related questions. After nine months, there will be a follow-up assessment as well as another 14-day sleep diary. There are chances for focus group interviews where participants give us feedback on the study


The main goal of this study is to test a new wrist biosensor that will track the participant's alcohol level to help self-management of alcohol use among young people (like you!) with HIV.

Study participants will complete a baseline survey that asks about alcohol use, mental health, etc. They will then receive a Skyn wrist biosensor to wear for 30 days and will report their alcohol use daily on a smartphone app. The app is interactive and will send daily reminders to complete the report. Participants will be able to utilize a second app that involves a game of taking care of animals and helping them grow! The more the participant uses their wrist biosensor, the more credits participants will receive to take care of their animals! After the first month of wearing the biosensor, the participant will complete another survey that includes the participant's opinion on the technologies/apps used in this study. 


The main goal of this study is to optimize dose and delivery methods of Health Choices - an already existent intervention method - to improve sustainability and overall capabilities. This project does not start until 2023!

Together, these three projects will synergistically demonstrate a continuous cycle of development, refinement, testing, implementation, and sustainment for the SHARE program.


Young adults with high rates of HIV and alcohol use are least likely stay in care and reach viral suppression. As defined by the CDC, they are a key population that is understudied. Recruiting this target population in the state of Florida will help us understand the barriers, issues, and thought processes of this underserved group and thus increase a greater overall public health impact.

With decades of experience in interventions for YPLWH, alcohol/substance use, supporting underserved/minority populations, community engagement, and implementation science, this program aims to use this experience to reach another underserved population for improving overall health in communities across Florida!


In order to be eligible to participate in the program, you must:

  • Be between the ages 18-29
  • Live in Florida
  • Be diagnosed as HIV positive
  • Have consumed at least one alcoholic beverage within the last 30 days
  • Have internet access via smartphone, computer, or tablet

Participation in this study is completely voluntary and your information is kept confidential. You are allowed to leave at any time without consequences. Compensation is provided for those who participate.

Contact Us

Do you have any questions or concerns? Reach out to us!

EPICC+: Expanding PrEP in Communities of Color

EPICC+ is a new initiative focused on adapting existing evidence-based provider and patient education and support tools and materials (EBT) for use in young men who have sex with men (YMSM). It also aims to train providers in the use of the EBT to facilitate PrEP shared decision making. We are partnering with other universities, youth advisory boards, organizations, and more in three different regions to reach the most effective outcomes for this initiative.


  • Adapt existing EBT and materials in Aims 1 and 2 (described on website)
  • Effectiveness objectives: to test the efficacy of the EBT in increase PrEP adherence, retention in PrEP care, PrEP decision-making
  • Implementation objectives: provider use of a competence with adapted EBT in clinical practice

Dr. Sylvie Naar, PhD and Professor, will represent Scale It Up Florida and the Center for Translational Behavioral Science at Florida State University for this project.

YACHT: Young Adult Centered Healthforce Training


Young Adult Centered HealthForce Training (YACHT) will focus on increasing HIV testing and PrEP referrals among young sexual minority men (YSMM) using a multi-component implementation strategy that includes

  1. Quality management via mystery shoppers,
  2. Tailored motivational interviewing, and
  3. Evidence-based technical assistance  


These strategies have been developed and tested in other states to support developmentally sensitive, culturally appropriate, evidence-based services for the Diagnose and Prevent pillars of the End the Epidemic (EHE) initiative. The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health will engage Florida Department of Health funded HIV testing sites across the seven EHE counties.  If successful, this program will increase the number of HIV tests administered among YSMM and the delivery of developmentally and culturally responsive, evidence-based testing and referral programs.  


We are excited to offer this opportunity! The Mystery Shopper assessments will begin in April 2023 and continue quarterly over three years. You will receive an opt out letter where you can indicate if you do not want to participate. Results of your agency’s assessments will not be shared outside of your agency and the academic investigators. The research team from FSU will discuss the results with your team and develop a plan together for HealthForce training and technical assistance tailored to your site.  At the end of the study, you will have chance to give confidential feedback for improving the program prior to implementation with other agencies. For further questions, please contact us at