207693 Addressing Increasing HIV/AIDS Infections Among African Immigrants: A Cognitive and Behavorial Group Level Intervention

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chioma Nnaji, MPH MEd , Africans for Improved Access (AFIA) Program, Multicultural AIDS Coalition, Jamaica Plan, MA
Josephine Mogire, MA, MS , Africans for Improved Access (AFIA) Program, Multicultural AIDS Coalition, Jamaica Plan, MA
Massachusetts, one of the states with the largest amount of new immigrants in the country, has seen a rise in HIV infections among Sub-Saharan Africans (SSAs). The population is not only diverse because of religion, ethnic background and language, but also immigration status. There are also individual or interpersonal issues such as male dominance/female subordination, low self-esteem, circumcision, sexual assault, sex for benefit, etc. These general issues and unique situations of need make it challenging to engage Sub-Saharan Africans (SSAs) in HIV/AIDS services. The most detrimental risk factor among Africans immigrants and refuges as it relates to HIV is stigma. In an effort to address the complex barriers to HIV prevention, education, and care, including stigma, the Multicultural AIDS Coalition Africans For Improved Access Program, a Boston-based AIDS-serving organization, developed In Our House: An African Story Video & Curriculum (IOH), which is an group level intervention that includes a step-by-step instruction manual and video. The IOH video was based on the African traditional oral art of storytelling, which draws on the collective wisdom and experiences of a community reinforcing their history, values and ways of life, thus having social and ethnical importance. To supplement the video, the curriculum builds on basic HIV information to engage participants about their real and perceived susceptibility to HIV/AIDS, increase skill levels, and shift attitudes. IOH also serves as a tool for educating service providers about cultural competency issues affecting their provision of services to this community.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define the HIV/AIDS epidemic among African immigrants and refugees in the United States, with a focus on Massachusetts 2. Explain the unique and complex barriers for engaging African immigrant and refugees into HIV prevention, education, and treatment services 3. Describe an evaluated cognitive and behavorial group level intervention - In Our House: An African Story Video and Curriculum 4. Discuss the next steps for a national comprehensive plan - National African HIV Initative (NAHI)

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a MPH - International Health from Boston Univeristy School of Public Health and a Masters of Education - Curriculum Development from Boston College Lynch School of Education. For the past 7 years, I have developed the first HIV program in Massachusetts to address HIV infections among African immigrants living in Massachusetts. The program is seen by state and city agencies as precedent and is continued to be consulted by national and local agencies. I have presented at local and national conferences about this topic and trained other professionals locally and nationally.
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.

See more of: Other HIV/AIDS Topic Areas
See more of: HIV/AIDS