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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3243.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Board 4

Abstract #111530

Going beyond individual-level HIV interventions: The Community Readiness Model in the U.S. Virgin Islands

H. Virginia McCoy, PhD, Center for Health Research and Policy, Stempel School of Public Health, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St (HLS 595), Miami, FL 33199, (305) 348-2620, mccoyh@fiu.edu, Robert Malow, PhD, Robert Stempel School of Public Health/ AIDS Prevention Program, Florida International University, 3000 N.E. 151 Street, ACI-260, North Miami, FL 33181, Ruth W. Edwards, PhD, Prevention Research: Community development/Substance Use.., Colorado University, Tri-Ethnic Center for Prevention Research, Sage Hall, Ft. Collins, CO 80523, Anne Thurland, MPH, Bureau of Health Education, U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Health, Charles Harwood Complex, 3500 Estate Richmond, Christiansted, US Virgin Island 00820-4370, US Virgin Islands, and Rhonda K. Rosenberg, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Stempel School of Public Health, Florida International University, AIDS Prevention Program, Biscayne Bay Campus, AC1 260, 3000 NE 151st Street, Miami, FL 33181.

Background: HIV/AIDS prevention experts have increasingly emphasized multilevel interventions aimed at influencing structural, community level factors, in addition to the traditional focus on individual level change. This report discusses the Community Readiness (CR) model as an assessment and intervention framework for bridging structural and individual levels to maximize community ownership, based on a funded study in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Methods: The CR Model incorporates a well-validated 9-point Likert Scale measure of community readiness to accept and support HIV risk interventions such as condom distribution and media campaigns. Using this measure, we assess a purposeful sample in three of the US Virgin Islands. Results: St. Thomas and St. Croix scored at the 4th lowest of 9 stages of Community Readiness (Preplanning). This suggests that the community acknowledged HIV/AIDS as a local problem but that efforts to intervene remain unfocused. St. John scored at the 3rd stage (Vague Awareness), indicating some community recognition but with few identified leaders and little motivation for action. On CR dimensions, all three scored highest on HIV/AIDS knowledge issues but lowest on community climate, which is the indicator for stigma. Based on these findings, the CR Model would suggest that initial efforts be aimed at reducing stigma, particularly if more behaviorally oriented interventions are to succeed. Conclusions: The CR Model is a serviceable tool for enabling a community to make use of interventions and for aiding researchers in predicting a goodness of fit with a community.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Community-Based Health Promotion, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Global Perspectives on HIV/AIDS

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA