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RARE project: Street research targets HIV transmission in Columbia, SC

Patricia J. Moore-Pastides, MPH, Director, Pregnant and Parenting Teen Provider Network, SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 1511 Gregg Street, Columbia, SC 29223, 803-771-7700, pmoore-pastides@teenpregnancysc.org and AAron Bryan, MA, SC Healthy Schools, SC State Department of Education, 1429 Senate Street, Rutledge Building, Columbia, SC 29201, Albania.

In 1999, the greater metropolitan area of Columbia SC ranked 4th for its rate of HIV cases. As a result, the Office of HIV/AIDS Policy offered the city the opportunity to conduct a Rapid Assessment Response and Evaluation Project to determine ways to intervene in the transmission of the disease in Columbia. Two at-risk populations were identified for study. One was an African American neighborhood with reported crack cocaine use and a high crime rate, and the other was the exotic dance industry. Indigenous people from these two targeted "communities" were identified and trained as researchers. The field team of researchers comprised: neighbors, a former crack addict, a current dancer, a former dancer and a bartender. Research methods included direct observation, key informant interviews(34) and focus groups(16). Results indicated that in both "communities" drug and alcohol abuse/addiction were largely responsible for sexual risk taking behaviors. Highlighted recommendations include: the need for more drug rehabilitation and job training services; the idea of developing an "uncrack house," and using taxicabs to provide condoms and health education messages in the at-risk nighborhood. In the exotic dance industry, recommendations focused on the possible health education role of "housemothers" in the clubs and creative ways to dstribute condoms to dancers. RARE resulted in the development of a community coalition of city officials HIV/AIDS service delivery providers, health department staff, and neighbors to address the identified needs of these populations at risk.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

HIV/AIDS Community Planning, Programming, and Interventions

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA