The overall goal of d-up! is to increase the number of black MSM who use a condom when they have sex. To accomplish this, d-up! focuses on changing the target social network’s condom use norms.


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 MSM to recognize and handle risk related racial and sexual bias. The d-up! intervention mantra is: Brothers Keeping Brothers Safe. Brothers Keeping Brothers Safe refers to black MSM influencing one another to practice safer sex and stop transmission. 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. NOTE: d-up! is adapted to Black MSM. Agencies interested in targeting other populations should adapt POL or adapt/implement other appropriate DEBIs instead.

d-up: Defend Yourself! (d-up!) is a community-level intervention that seeks to mobilize an existing social network of black men who have sex with men (MSM) to support condom use and improve their sense of self-worth. d-up! uses specific social network members, called opinion leaders, who are respected and trusted by their peers, to promote the benefits of consistent condom use and increase self-worth among their friends and acquaintances. d-up! is an evaluated cultural adaptation of the Popular Opinion Leader intervention model for social networks of black MSM; it incorporates culturally relevant messages, materials, and activities throughout the intervention. Opinion leaders endorse condom use and deliver messages to affirm a sense of authority, pride, and confidence in themselves as black MSM by having casual one-on-one conversations with their friends and acquaintances. Opinion leaders are identified through the social settings of the targeted social network, where the size of social network can be estimated, friendship groups observed, and opinion leaders identified. d-up! has been packaged by CDC’s Replication of Effective Interventions and Diffusion of Effective Behavioral Interventions projects. Information on obtaining the intervention training and materials is available at www.effectiveinterventions.org.