180731 An HIV risk-reduction intervention for African American MSMW: The inclusion of culture

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:00 PM

John K. Williams, MD , UCLA Psychr & Biobehav Sci, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Nina T. Harawa, MPH, PhD , Project EXPORT, Charles R. Drew University, Los Angeles, CA
Hema C. Ramamurthi, MBBS, MS , Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Science, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Cleo Manago , AmASSI Health & Cultural Center, Inglewood, CA
Sergio Avina , JWCH Institute, Inc., Los Angeles, CA
Issues: African Americans continue to be the most at risk for HIV/AIDS. Attention to beliefs and values that may contradict or reinforce prevention efforts is lacking in existing tested interventions. Theory-based HIV interventions that target populations by race/ethnicity, gender, and sexual identification while incorporating culture are needed.

Description: Men of African American Legacy Empowering Self (MAALES), an HIV risk-reduction intervention for African American men who have sex with men and women (MSMW), models the inclusion of culture as a mediator for sexual and drug risk outcomes. Developed by researchers and community stakeholders, MAALES utilizes cultural process and content to address pertinent protective and contributing factors of HIV risk. Cultural process is the manner in which facilitating elements of change are presented, such as using ethnically matching facilitators, videos with African Americans, or Ghanian Adinkra symbolism to illustrate and reinforce health messages. MAALES also addresses the tendency toward present-time orientation by engaging participants in recognizing how individual and collective histories affect current and future sexual decision-making. Cultural content involves the presentation of contextualized and culturally congruent information and skill building necessary for behavioral change, such as condom use self-efficacy among African American MSMW.

Lessons Learned: Participant evaluations from initial intervention groups indicate that MAALES' attention to African American history, values, and norms, and sexual decision-making and identification have been well received.

Recommendation: MAALES, based on the Empowerment Theory, Theory of Planned Behavior and Reasoned Action, and Critical Thinking and Cultural Affirmation, demonstrates how culture can be incorporated into HIV interventions.

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the importance of including culture within HIV risk-reduction interventions, identifying strength and weaknesses of current interventions targeting men who have sex with men (MSM). 2. Describe two strategies for incorporating culture as a mediating variable into HIV risk reduction interventions. 3. Describe a theoretical conceptual model for an HIV risk-reduction intervention targeting African American men who have sex with men and women.

Keywords: African American, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I completed a 2 year NIMH funded HIV Post Doctoral Fellowship in 2001. I was funded as a Minority AIDS Research Initiative (MARI) Investigator by the CDC to conduct an innovative Internet study entitled, Gay and Non-gay Identifying Black and Latino MSM Who Meet Male Sexual Partners Over the Internet. I am currently funded as Co-PI with Dr. Nina T. Harawa by CAlifornia HIV/AIDS Research Program to develop an HIV prevention intervention for non-gay identifying African American men who have sex with men and women (MSMW). I am also funded as PI for an NIMH funded R34 to develop an HIV risk reduction intervention for HIV-positive African American MSMW who have a history of childhood sexual abuse and to examine biomarkers of stress.
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.