245248 Empowering youth for HIV prevention: An assets-based intervention for building healthy communities

Monday, October 31, 2011: 11:30 AM

Jason D. Coleman, PhD, MSPH , School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE
Ryan C. Wilson, MEd , South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Columbia, SC
Shehan V. Welihindha, MEd , Department of Health Promotion, Education, & Behavior, University of South Carolina - Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Background: Youth Empowered Against HIV (YEAH) was developed to address rising HIV incidence in young men who have sex with men. Unlike most HIV prevention interventions, YEAH combines identity development with behavioral modification strategies. Participants were self-identified gay, bisexual, and queer men between ages 18-24 years who completed a 6-module intervention designed to increase HIV/AIDS knowledge, comfort and confidence for discussing HIV/AIDS, and self-efficacy for HIV prevention and peer education. Participants remained engaged through both structured (e.g. booster sessions) and unstructured (e.g. community-based peer education) mechanisms. Methods: Twenty-four participants (mean age=19.4 years) completed the pilot test of the intervention. Participants completed pre- and post-test assessments to measure knowledge, comfort, confidence, and self-efficacy for HIV prevention and peer education. Paired-sample t-tests were conducted to determine if significant changes occurred between pre- and post-test. Focus groups were conducted 6-12 months post-intervention with participants to assess perceptions of peer education and leadership skills development. Results: Participants showed significant increases in knowledge between pre-test and post-test (t(22)=-8.044, p=.000). Significant increases were also reported for comfort in discussing HIV/AIDS-related behaviors (t(19)=-3.193, p=.005); confidence in knowledge to discuss HIV/AIDS-related behaviors (t(20)=-9.151, p=.000); and self-efficacy for HIV prevention and peer education (t(20)=-5.451, p=.000). Focus groups showed that participants attributed increased community-based peer education and personal leadership development to YEAH. Conclusions: Results of this pilot test support the utility of locally developed community-based interventions in providing knowledge and skills for HIV/AIDS peer education and risk reduction. YEAH may serve as a model for other locally developed interventions.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the outcomes of an HIV prevention intervention based in identity development and behavior modification strategies.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Adolescent Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on this study and I conducted the primary research.
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: HIV/AIDS & Young People
See more of: HIV/AIDS