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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Dramatic impact on sexual risk behavior among active drug-using women: Interim results from the BestBET study

Erica L. Gollub, DrPH1, Delinda Mercer, PhD2, Tamara Y. Boney, MS1, Kay A. Armstrong, MS3, Sumedha Chhatre, PhD1, Katina Mackey, BA1, Antonella Lavelanet, BA1, and David Metzger, PhD1. (1) Center for Studies of Addiction, University of Pennsylvania, 3535 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215-746-7355, elgollub@aol.com, (2) Consultant, 3409 16th Avenue, Scottsbluff, NE 69361, (3) Public Health Consultant, 645 Harper Ave, Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Background: BESTBET, a randomized trial, tests a “body empowerment”, 5-session intervention based on increasing knowledge, familiarity and comfort with the body, emphasizing women’s protection methods like the female condom (FC), peer counseling and women’s solidarity. Methods: Data from the first 15 months of follow-up (FU) (N=155) are presented. Recruitment was conducted via mobile van. Enrollment criteria targeted both active drug use and risky sex behaviors. Audio-CASI was used to collect risk data. Results: At baseline, 54% reported smoking crack > 1x/day and 40% reported recent injection behavior. Of injectors, 46% reported > daily use of heroin. 76% had exchanged sex for money, starting at age 9. No significant differences existed between control (Ct) or intervention (In) groups in these behaviors. Few women reported male-condom (MC) or FC protected vaginal sex acts with primary partners (PP; Ct 6%, In 7%, p=0.72)) or with non-primary HIV negative partners (NPHN; Ct 29%, In 17%; p=0.12). At 6-mo FU large differences existed between groups for PP (Ct 16%, In 40%, p=0.000) and for NPHN (Ct 44%, In 64%, p=0.20). Both arms demonstrated increases over time for PP and NPHN, being only statistically significant for intervention subjects (PP, p=.000; NPHN, p=.002). Both MC and FC use accounted for observed increases. Conclusions: Important gains in protection with both types of partners were observed at 6-mo FU. Focusing on basic body knowledge and women’s methods of prevention, in a confidential, woman-only setting is appropriate and important for drug-using women to reduce risk of HIV and STD.

Learning Objectives:

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.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Women and HIV/AIDS

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