MHRP's Department of Epidemiology and Threat Assessment (DETA) conducts observational and epidemiologic studies that facilitate site capacity building and community engagement. This research infrastructure is leveraged to support a growing portfolio of interventional studies that enroll military and civilian populations, with an emphasis on the testing of novel strategies to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
The KISS study is a prospective trial to assess the acceptability and efficacy of a behavioral intervention to reduce the risk of HIV and other STIs in a population of Army personnel and medical beneficiaries. All participants receive the standard STI prevention counseling that is routinely provided by military medical treatment facilities. In addition, participants in the intervention arm receive an evidence-based, gender-specific, interactive educational intervention (Knocking out Infections through Safer sex and Screening [KISS]) and follow-up communications via text and telephone to reinforce concepts learned during the in-person educational session. Changes in sexual behaviors are evaluated via behavioral surveys at enrollment, six, and twelve months. Participants also undergo screening for gonorrhea and chlamydia at these visits.
The multisite, multinational Meningococcal vaccine Against Gonococcal Infection (MAGI) study is a phase II randomized, observer-blind, placebo-controlled study to assess the efficacy of meningococcal Group B vaccine rMenB+OMV NZ (Bexsero) in preventing gonococcal infection. Participants will be randomized to receive either the Bexsero vaccine or placebo, administered as two intramuscular injections, and followed for safety, clinical, and laboratory assessments. It will enroll participants in the United States and Thailand with standardized study procedures across all study sites. Two MHRP-collaborating sites in Thailand are expected to enroll approximately 1,000 participants who are at risk for gonorrhea.