Online Program

Performing for prevention: Assessing the feasibility of an arts-based HIV prevention approach for adolescents in the US south

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Alexandra Lightfoot, EdD, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Arianna Taboada, MSW, MSPH, Schools of Social Work and Public Health, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Amanda Houpt, MPH (c), Department of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, Carrboro, NC
Yesenia Merino, MPH, Department of Behavioral Science & Health Education, Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
Erin Stratton, MPH, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Decatur, GA
Raphael Coleman, MPH, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, Atlanta, GA
The face of HIV in the United States has changed. Youth ages 13-29 are a particularly high-risk group, accounting for 39% of new HIV infections in 2009. In the Southern states, which include Georgia (GA) and North Carolina (NC), the 2010 rate of HIV diagnoses was nearly 29% higher than the national average. Findings from the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Survey (2011) indicate that teens from this region engage in more risky sexual behavior on average than adolescents nationally. Many lack accurate knowledge about disease transmission, condom use and basic preventive skills to delay initiation of sexual activity.

These statistics warrant intensified efforts to target HIV education and prevention towards adolescents in the South. AMP! (Arts-based, Multiple intervention, Peer-education) is a sexual health education and HIV prevention approach developed in Los Angeles. AMP! provides young people with crucial information and prevention strategies in a novel way – through school-based performances developed by undergraduate students trained in HIV, health education, and interactive theater. Performances, which amplify school health curricula content, are based on undergraduates' lived experiences and attuned to adolescent needs and realities. We conducted a pilot study to examine the feasibility of adapting AMP! for school districts in NC and GA.

Results from focus groups and surveys conducted with high school participants and in depth interviews with high school health teachers highlight the successes and challenges of adapting AMP! for a southern context. Presenters will address implications for future research to advance arts-based HIV interventions for adolescents in the South.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
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
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe barriers and facilitators to school-based HIV prevention in the South. Discuss strategies for engaging adolescents in sexual health discussions using interactive theater approaches.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator on the AMP! feasibility study in North Carolina piloting a theater-based HIV prevention intervention in a local school district. I direct the Community-Based Participatory Research Core at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Prevention Research Center and am Adjunct Assistant Professor in Health Education at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. I have extensive experience using arts-based approaches in public health and conducting youth-focused HIV prevention interventions.
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.