266310 Participant-researcher collaboration to modify a face-to-face HIV risk reduction intervention for young MSM for online delivery

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Corina Lelutiu-Weinberger, PhD , Department of Psychology, Hunter College, Center for HIV/AIDS Educational Studies and Training, New York, NY
John E. Pachankis, PhD , Department of Psychology, Yeshiva University, Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, New York, NY
Sarit A. Golub, PhD, MPH , Department of Psychology, Hunter College of the City University of New York (CUNY), New York, NY
Jeffrey T. Parsons, PhD , Center for HIV Educational Studies and Training (CHEST), Hunter College, New York, NY
Issues: This presentation illustrates the processes behind reconfiguring an HIV prevention intervention to better serve young men who have sex with men (YMSM) who use social networking. The intervention aims to engage 50 HIV-negative YMSM in an online program intended to reduce drug use and sexual risk. The project is a modification of an existing intervention (Young Men's Health Project or YMHP), in which 24% of those who consented to longitudinal assessments declined the intervention because it did not fit their needs. This presentation explains the step-by-step process of collaborating with former participants to create a culturally relevant, acceptable and feasible online intervention. Description: In Phase I, we strategically selected 13 former YMHP participants who: declined the intervention, reduced or did not reduce their sexual risk and substance use, or completed one of four intervention sessions. Participants in 5 focus groups and 8 interviews informed the feasibility and pragmatic specifications of our initially proposed intervention delivered via Facebook chat. Lessons Learned: Key modification recommendations included adding writing components and risk reduction skills-building, and contextualizing sexual risk and substance use in individuals' lives. Participants' privacy and confidentiality concerns informed our protocols to maximize protection of data. The modified intervention was presented to participants for additional fine-tuning. Phase II enrollment to pilot-test the intervention is ongoing. Recommendations: Input from the target population is paramount for interventionists' deeper understanding of its needs and how to better address them. This is an ideal forum to develop and implement interactive interventions delivered via live chat.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Learning Objective 1: Demonstrate the process of modifying a researcher-designed intervention in collaboration with representatives of the target population, in order to create a more culturally relevant and acceptable online HIV risk-reduction program. Learning Objective 2: Identify elements of HIV prevention needed for more innovative and socially relevant programs that are more likely to engage young gay and bisexual men, as their needs and risk patterns may differ from those of previous generations.

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Internet Tools

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Research Scientist and have been working in the field of public health for 10 years. I oversee several federally funded grants, and am the Principal Investigator of a NIDA-funded R03 and Co-Investigator on another NIDA-funded R01. I have published in peer reviewed journals and attended numerous conferences, where I gave several talks.
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.