d-up!, which stands for “Defend Yourself”, is a community-level intervention designed for and developed by Black men who have sex with men (MSM). D-up! is designed to promote social norms of condom use and assist Black MSMs to recognize and handle risk related racial and sexual bias. d-up! finds and enlists opinion leaders whose advice is respected and trusted by their peers. These leaders are trained to change risky sexual norms of their friends and acquaintances in their own social networks. d-up! opinion leaders are prepared to deliver messages that counter racial and sexual biases directed toward Black MSMs in society and to promote condom use among Black MSMs.
The target population of d-up! is adapted to Black men who have sex with men. The target population for this particular d-up! model is African-Americans ages 18-24 on the campus of Southern University and in the Scotlandville community.
The d-up! intervention mantra is: Brothers Keeping Brothers Safe. Brothers Keeping Brothers Safe refers to black MSMs influencing one another to practice safer sex and stop transmission of HIV. When the social norm is shifted in a social network of black MSM, the behavior of every individual in the network is impacted. Brothers Keeping Brothers Safe indicates that brothers are the most effective and far-reaching agents of behavior change for themselves that exists in the world.