245703 Break the Cycle in America: Preventing HIV transmission and acquisition by reducing initiation into injection drug use

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stephanie Wood, MPH, CHES , Harm Reduction Action Center, Denver, CO
Initiation into intravenous drug use is a major threat to the successful prevention of HIV and other blood-borne diseases. New injectors are at the highest risk of becoming infected with HIV, making it critical to prevent initiation of those at risk of IV drug use. This can potentially be done through modifying the behavior of active injection drug users (IDU) in social networks where NIDU (non-injection drug users) are present. Intervening at the point of initiation creates far-reaching behavior change beyond the individual level and into the community level. Social networks have been successfully utilized in other interventions aimed at influencing IDU behaviors. Social networks influence individual behavior through direct communication or, indirectly through exposure to and comparison with network members who engage in the behavior. An intervention that impacts injection initiation through active IDU social networks has the potential to strike at the core of HIV transmission risk. Break the Cycle (BTC) is an innovative intervention that works to prevent HIV and other blood borne infection risk by reducing actual injection initiation rates. Originally developed by Neil Hunt, the BTC intervention made its debut within the United States three years ago in Denver, Colorado. This presentation discusses the administration and evaluation of the American BTC intervention. Findings from the evaluation has helped to determine whether BTC is relevant for older adult IDU, the potential for changing initiation and modeling behaviors when adapted to a group-level intervention model, and BTC's potential for widespread adoption in the United States.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.Participants will be able to list eight factors that influence initiation into injection drug use from perspectives of both the initiator and the initiated 2.Participants will be able to describe the personal risks of IV drug initiation for both the initiator and the initiated 3.Participants will be able to differentiate the outcomes derived from indirectly targeting those whom are most at risk for HIV acquisition by directly targeting exposing catalyst populations 4.Participants will be able to assess the effectiveness and sustainability of the Break the Cycle intervention as an American adaptation

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Injecting Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I oversee community health program design, implementation and evaluation such as IV-drug-related disease prevention and adapting community health promotion interventions for marginalized populations.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Harm Reduction Action Center Program Administration and Evaluation Employment (includes retainer)

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 Prevention Strategies
See more of: HIV/AIDS