158320 Generations: Creating a Collaborative Culturally Competent HIV Prevention Program for Maine Indian Women and Their Families

Monday, November 5, 2007: 4:50 PM

Kathleen E. Perkins, MPA , Director, Division of Health Improvement, Medical Care Development, Augusta, ME
Barbara Ginley, MPH , Maine Migrant Health Program, Augusta, ME
Donna Augustine , Maine Migrant Health Program, Augusta, ME
Patricia Neptune , Maine Migrant Health Program, Augusta, ME
Miigam Agan , Wabanaki Mental Health Association, Bangor, ME
Sharon Tomah, LCSW , Wabanaki Mental Health Association, Bangor, ME
Purpose: The scope of HIV infection among Native American women in Maine has been difficult to determine due to low testing rates and fear of stigma. This presentation will discuss an innovative, privately-funded collaboration between large and small, tribal and non-tribal agencies in Maine that provides peer education, outreach and HIV testing with settled and migrant Native American women and families.

Methods: The National AIDS Fund and Johnson & Johnson created the GENERATIONS Project to address women of color affected by HIV/AIDS. Our program increases HIV/AIDS awareness among Native Americans by: 1) conducting outreach and HIV rapid testing on two reservations, at multi-tribe events and at migrant camps during the blueberry raking season; 2) Supporting Maine Indian women to increase knowledge about the disease and to help change the attitudes of the community regarding the importance of HIV prevention; 3) Incorporating prevention education in to cultural events such as the Rites of Passage ceremonies for youth and traditional women's gatherings.

Results: We have formed a successful partnership between local Native American agencies and non-native agencies. The Maine Indian women have been remarkably open to HIV education and testing. We have also been able to adapt and implement two CDC-approved interventions in our community utilizing the special talents of traditional healers and lay health educators.

Conclusions: Strong collaborative leadership can facilitate development and implementation of meaningful HIV prevention interventions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Recognize successful components of collaboration among tribe-based and community-based agencies conducting HIV prevention. 2. Describe effective training and roles of traditional healers in culturally competent HIV prevention. 3. Articulate challenges of incorporating and evaluating strategies from DEBI interventions into HIV prevention efforts in a community with primarily oral communication traditions.

Keywords: Native Americans, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.