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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3286.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Table 6

Abstract #115424

A model for community-based participatory evaluation: Benefits, challenges, and lessons of evaluating HIV prevention in commercial sex venues

Matt G. Mutchler, PhD1, Leo Colemon, MA2, George Ayala2, Pato Hebert2, and Emily Elman, MPH3. (1) Education, AIDS Project Los Angeles, 3550 Wilshire, #300, Los Angeles, CA 90010, 213.201.1522, mmutchler@apla.org, (2) Education, AIDS Project Los Angeles: The David Geffen Center, 611 S. Kingsley Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90005, (3) Research and Evaluation Core, AIDS Project Los Angeles, The David Geffen Center, 611 S. Kingsley Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90005

Issue: This session provides a case study of the implementation of a community-based, participatory evaluation (CBPE) model. Description: The research and evaluation core (REC) collaborated with a commercial sex venue (CSV)-initiative, implemented in 9 commercial sex venues within Los Angeles County to reduce sexual risk behaviors among male patrons. Employing the Popular Opinion Leader (POL) model, CSV patrons were certified as peer health educators (Sexperts). The model also included a coalition of government officials, other providers, CSV owners, and CSV patrons engaged in ongoing discussions regarding program activities. REC utilized our CBPE model that includes the following components: equal participation in discussions about evaluation activities; program evaluation training and capacity building; mechanisms for data utilization; and a culture of reflexivity. Lessons Learned: The process of collaboration resulted in a sophisticated sampling design and recruitment methods sensitive to the needs of CSV owners, scientifically designed survey items culturally tailored to patrons' lives, data used by program staff to improve services, and increased trust of program evaluation among CSV owners. Challenges included defining professional roles, communication between program and evaluation staff, balancing scientific rigor and front-line realities, and advocating for effective activities in the context of competing governmental and commercial interests. Specific examples will be presented to illustrate the principles of our CBPE model. Recommendations: Truly collaborative CBPE can retain scientific principles, incorporate the needs of various stakeholders, build capacity among all parties, produce useful data, and generate respect for evaluation activities.

Learning Objectives: As a result of participation in this session, participants will learn

Keywords: Community Research, Gay Men

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.

HIV/AIDS: Innovative Approaches to Outreach and Partnership

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