179537 Lessons learned from a community-based HIV testing partnership: The Minority Community Health HIV/AIDS Demonstration Partnership (MCHHCP)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:15 PM

Marjie Mogul, PhD , Department of Research, Maternity Care Coalition, Philadelphia, PA
Shannon M. Criniti, MPH , Division of ID/HIV Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA
Lucy Yates, EdD , Neighbor to Neighbor Community Development Corporation, Sharon Hill, PA
Fighting the HIV epidemic requires the cooperation of all community members. The MCHHCP is a Community-based Participatory Research effort focused on HIV prevention and rapid testing for pregnant and postpartum low-income women in the Philadelphia area. The primary objective of the program is a sustainable partnership between three local organizations: a grassroots CBO providing direct services to low income pregnant and postpartum women, using community health workers in a home-visiting model; a faith-based neighborhood corporation based at a large, African-American church; and a comprehensive HIV medical provider affiliated with a major research university.

A home-visiting based rapid testing and prevention program was launched within the first year. Partnership representatives meet monthly to plan and implement program objectives. In December, 2007, a formal evaluation of the partnership was conducted. Preliminary analysis indicates many issues which can be seen as strengths and challenges. One major theme which emerged is the racial diversity reflected in the partnership. Partners feel that it must be acknowledged and discussed not just at the beginning but throughout the partnership process. Another theme is the balance between direct service and evaluation. Academic partners view evaluation as a critical issue in sustainability but are not always sensitive to the burden it places on direct service staff and the interference it may cause in the provision of services. Direct service staff fear that evaluation may turn a service project into a research study.

Learning Objectives:
1. Understand elements that facilitate the development of a successful community-academic partnership 2. Recognize barriers to implementation of a program comprised of three separate entities 3. Identify unexpected issues arising during development of collaborative research

Keywords: Community-Based Partnership, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a Ph.D. in social work from Bryn Mawr College and I am the Director of Research at the community-based organization where the program is taking place
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.