260192 Linking vulnerable drug using populations to quality care and services

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 : 8:30 AM - 8:50 AM

Dionne J. Jones, PhD , Division of Epidemiology, Services & Prevention Research, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, MD
Wendee M. Wechsberg, PhD , Substance Abuse Treatment Evaluations and Interventions, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Hilary L. Surratt, PhD , Center for Applied Research on Substance Use & Health Disparities, Nova Southeastern University, Miami, FL
Norweeta Milburn, PhD , Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles, CA
Vulnerable populations include drug abusers, people living with HIV/AIDS, women sex traders, delinquent adolescents, and people marginalized by sexual preference (MSM, LGBT), race or language. The special needs of these groups are often not addressed within the healthcare system. Moreover, social injustices (e.g., racism and socioeconomic marginalization) often result in preventable health inequities. In their attempt to avoid stigma and discrimination, many of these vulnerable groups do not access and utilize needed care. Research identifies strategies for linking vulnerable groups to quality care and services and highlights public health implications. The first presentation emphasizes the need for strategic planning and understanding of the social context of communities so that efforts to link target population groups to available resources are successful. For example, PEPFAR provides funding for HIV testing and antiretroviral treatment in South Africa, but these efforts have had limited success in reaching drug users, particularly women who use drugs, many of whom are HIV+, largely because they were unaware of available care. Plans to reach and link this targeted population will be presented. The next presentation shares findings from a 5-year randomized intervention trial that tested two strengths-based case management approaches that were designed to increase health service linkages and reduce HIV risk among a sample of African American female sex traders. Preliminary analyses of follow up data show that a sizeable proportion of the sample did make linkages to care. The third presentation highlights effective strategies for linking and engaging delinquent adolescents who use drugs in family-based interventions.

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

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify strategies for linking vulnerable women to HIV testing and care. 2. Describe HIV risk factors and barriers to utilizing care in a sample of highly vulnerable women sex traders. 3. Assess the effectiveness of strengths-based interventions in reducing drug and sexual risk behaviors for HIV.

Keywords: Women and HIV/AIDS, Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author and Discussant on the content I am responsible for because I have a PhD in the content area and have worked in the field for more than 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.