Adaptation Guide & Toolkit
STYLE is an evidence-based intervention for testing, linking, and retaining in care African American MSM with HIV. This site describes the program's elements and how one agency adapted it as M+: Oakland STYLE.

What is STYLE?

Project STYLE is a set of services developed to engage and retain African American men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV in high-quality care.

STYLE uses a combination of strategies to build a strong relationship between community-based organizations and clinical providers so that the client experience of HIV testing, referral, care, and support is seamless.The core elements of this program include:

  • Social marketing 
  • HIV testing
  • High-quality clinical care 
  • Social support services

Who needs STYLE?

  • Agencies who want to improve HIV awareness and testing rates in African American MSM in their communities
  • Organizations in communities where African American MSM are not fully engaged or retained in HIV care
  • Communities whose HIV health care providers offer social and other support services for patients, or are interested in adding these services.

Will STYLE work for MY community?

STYLE is flexible enough to be adapted for most communities. You can choose the interventions that make the most sense for your audience, and make sure that they are culturally appropriate. The original STYLE was geared toward young black college students in North Carolina. The Oakland adaptation, M+, has an older audience of African American MSM. The Getting Ready section of this site will help you define exactly who needs STYLE in your community.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded the UCSF Prevention Research Center (PRC) to collaborate with the AIDS Project of the East Bay (APEB) in Oakland, California to adapt and replicate STYLE (“Strength Through Youth Livin’ Empowered”) to improve engagement in care for African American men who have sex with men (MSM) living with HIV in order to reduce HIV-related health disparities. STYLE was originally developed by Dr. Lisa Hightow-Weidman at the University of North Carolina to improve engagement in care among young African American MSM in North Carolina.

The APEB team worked closely with the UCSF PRC to assess the STYLE intervention and to determine what changes were necessary to meet the needs of their organization’s population. The local implementation of STYLE is called M+, and the materials on this website include the original STYLE materials as well new implementation materials used in the M+ project.


The resources and information on this site may be revised at any time based on new information.