270888 Targeted HIV prevention interventions for offenders and ex-offenders: Filling in the gaps in Central Florida

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ariel Ludwig, MPH , Re-Entry Programs, Metro Wellness and Community Centers, Tampa, FL
Priya Rajkumar, BA , Client Health Services, Metro Wellness and Community Centers, Tampa, FL
Lorraine Langlois , Prevention and Health Services, Metro Wellness and Community Centers, St. Petersburg, FL
Issues: HIV is a pressing public health concern that disproportionately effects incarcerated individuals. Over 95% of these individuals will be released to communities, increasing the potential for further transmission of HIV. As such, interventions for this high-risk population are paramount.

Description: Responding to these concerns, Metro Wellness and Community Centers provided a single-session HIV prevention intervention in Central Florida prisons, juvenile justice facilities, re-entry centers and halfway houses. These sessions educated individuals at high-risk for HIV and provided information on transmission, prevention and health decision making.

Lessons Learned: 32 education interventions were administered to 632 currently incarcerated and recently released offenders. A 15-item pre-test and post-test was administered to each group of participants measuring knowledge of HIV transmission and prevention before and after the intervention. Prior to the education intervention, participants had an average score of 62%. After completing the 2-hour education intervention, participants scored an average score of 87%, which paired t-tests found to be significant. This conveyance of HIV-related education is particularly pertinent as many respondents self-identified as having multiple risk-factors including a mental health diagnosis (15%), high-risk heterosexual (64%), high-risk gay/bisexual (7%), and past or current substance abuse (27%).

Recommendations: These single-session interventions served as a feasibility project for future intervention programs. Facilities that house soon-to-be released or recently released offenders offer a unique opportunity for prevention. Our findings suggest that even a single-session intervention reduces misconceptions and may promote health behaviors, which could ultimately reduce future transmission.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1) Describe the unique challenges of implementing HIV prevention interventions in prisons, juvenile justice facilities, re-entry centers and halfway houses. 2) Develop prevention education strategies to address the complex needs of offenders and ex-offenders at risk of HIV within these settings. 3) List seven HIV risk-factors prevalent among inmates and recently released ex-offenders.

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Incarceration

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I currently serve as the Program Coordinator for Re-entry Services at Metro Wellness and Community Centers, a community-based non-profit. While here, I oversee the HIRE (Health Improvement for Re-entering Ex-offenders) Program, and manage its day-to-day activities. Prior to this, I received a Masters in Public Health from Yale University and have over three years of experience working in and researching the intersection of public health, correctional health, and HIV/AIDS.
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.