245652 A novel critical consciousness-based HIV prevention intervention for male youth in Kenya

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:30 PM

Gary W. Harper, PhD, MPH , Department of Psychology and MPH Program, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Andrew J. Riplinger, MA , Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Background: Cultural, social, and gender norms play a role in fueling the international HIV pandemic among youth. HIV prevention interventions that successfully challenge these norms are urgently needed. This study assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and initial outcomes of a critical consciousness-based HIV prevention intervention challenging social and gender norms that promote HIV-related risk behaviors among male Kenyan youth.

Methods: A critical consciousness-based HIV prevention intervention was delivered to two groups of 37 male Kenyan youth (ages 16-24) and focused on challenging social and gender norms related to multiple sexual partners, early sexual debut, gender-based violence, and substance use. Various stimuli (e.g. media images, music videos, audio scripts, and role plays) were presented to participants who critically analyzed societal messages related to HIV risk behaviors present in those stimuli through a critical consciousness coaching technique. Data were collected immediately post-intervention, and 3-months and 9-months post intervention.

Results: Qualitative and quantitative data revealed high degrees of feasibility and acceptability, and demonstrated that: a) stimuli made the critical analysis of social messages accessible, b) session material was enjoyable and applicable to their lives; c) youth developed a critical analysis of social messages beyond the initial intervention; d) youth changed their HIV-related risk-behaviors; and e) youth encouraged their peers to challenge social norms and/or change their HIV-related risk behaviors.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates promise for incorporating critical consciousness into HIV prevention interventions both internationally and domestically. Such strategies will likely have transferability across multiple populations with social and gender norms promoting HIV-related risk behavior.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Planning 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:
1. Understand how dominant constructions of masculinity influence the HIV-related risk behaviors of male Kenyan youth. 2. Describe Paulo Freire’s concept of “critical consciousness” as it has been applied to health promotion programs. 3. Explain how the “critical consciousness coaching technique” can be successfully incorporated in HIV prevention interventions.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, International Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have worked on HIV prevention intervention development and delivery in Kenya since December 2004, and have done so domestically for nearly 25 years.
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.