Online Program

Camp-based innovative HIV prevention program among youths in South Africa – does day- vs. residential- camp format make a difference?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Su-I. Hou, DrPH, CPH, MCHES, RN, Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Powell Gwynn, PhD, Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Philip Lilienthal, President & Founder, Global Camps Africa, Reston, VA
Emily Crowder, Executive Director, Global Camps Africa, Reston, VA
Introduction: Given the limited resources, it is critical to balance the program effectiveness against cost per beneficiary. This study compared and evaluated the impact of an innovative camp-based HIV prevention program in S. Africa, delivered by youth peers via day- vs. residential-camp formats to address HIV stigma and disclosure concerns, as well as youth development skills. Methods: Disadvantaged youths who were at high risk of HIV/AIDS were identified and recruited through the local school leadership. Via the partnership with a regional certified NGO providing HIV services, the camp-based HIV prevention program infused fun games and activities. Results: A total of 441 campers (59% being residential campers) participated between 2011-2012. Age ranged between 10-24 years (55% were females). Data showed campers hold more negative perceptions towards self versus others if they had HIV/AIDS (mean scores 15.20 vs. 13.96; p<.000). The gaps of these negative perceptions towards self versus others became smaller after the camp. Overall campers showed increased scores on all the youth development scales including goal-orientation (6-item; 25.52 vs. 27.43), resilience (14-item; 74.84 vs. 77.50), and locus-of-control (28-item; 90.89 vs. 97.77) (all p<.05). The type of the camp program did not show differential effects on most outcomes, except that day campers perceived lower disclosure concerns than residential campers after the programs. Conclusion: Data support the equivalent positive impact of day vs. residential camps. Results warrant the continuation and proliferation of the day camp model to reduce cost per camper while reaching similar positive impact on youths for HIV prevention.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Define the characteristics of day versus residential camps, benefits, and potential use of camp mechanism for health promotion interventions. Describe the impact of the camp-based HIV intervention program on HIV stigma and disclosure, and youth development among youths in S. Africa. Discuss implication of the study findings on selecting camp-format for developing health interventions among youths.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, International, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I serve as a co-evaluation consultant for this project and have conducted HIV related research for near 20 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.