208942 Waves of the Future: Utilizing Technology for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Healthy Living Via the Global HELP- Health Education Leadership Program

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:00 PM

Barbara Wallace, PhD , Department of Health &Behavior Studies, Teachers College Columbia. University, New York, New York, NY
What are the waves of the future when it comes to fostering healthy living in ways that are culturally appropriate and responsive to community needs and cultural characteristics? Certainly, the waves of the future will increasingly include the use of technology. Specifically, technology can be used to respond to contemporary epidemics in such a way that a wide audience is readily reached via the Internet and information is disseminated freely without cost to users of virtual sites. Community capacity can be built and contemporary epidemics can be addressed in this manner. For example, community capacity building for HIV/AIDS prevention emerges as a vital task in the current era of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States, as well as globally—such as in Africa. The training of community health workers/peer educators represents an important step in empowering communities to self-determine their own health. Toward this end, the Global HELP—Health Education Leadership Program has been developed as a virtual hub where fellows of the Research Group on Disparities in Health can work to adapt curriculum to meet the needs of particular communities. The presentation reports on the results of a grant-funded project designed to build local and global capacity for HIV/AIDS prevention. Funded fellows have conducted interviews and focus groups so as to discover the particular needs of various groups at risk for HIV/AIDS transmission. They have used the private and public Internet space of the Global HELP virtual hub to modify and refine curriculum delivered in the training of community health workers/peer educators. Whether in work with church groups in the United States to train these community health workers/peer educators, or in work in countries such as Togo, Africa, or Kenya, Africa, or in the Caribbean (i.e. Haiti, Jamaica), the result has been a significant step in empowering communities to work to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission among their members. While the model, to date, has focused on HIV/AIDS prevention, Global HELP has the goal of also being a medium for the dissemination of curriculum to foster diabetes prevention, for example, as well as respond to other epidemics.

Learning Objectives:
1. identify how the virtual hub (Global HELP) created for purposes of health promotion and disease prevention serves to empower local communities to engage in the training of their own community members as peer educations/community health workers List the skills to access the virtual hub (Global HELP) and download free curriculum for the training of Master Trainers and peer educators in models of HIV/AIDS prevention Describe how to modify the curriculum freely available via the virtual hub (Global HELP) so that they can make it culturally appropriate or responsive to the unique needs of a particular community

Keywords: Community Capacity, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am deemed an expert with vast experience presenting regionally and nationally on various topics relating to HIV/AIDS, health equity, health disparities, and the development of curriculum to train community health workers/peer educators. I also organize a national conference and appreciate the need to adhere to standards of excellence.
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.