Online Program

Virtual worlds: Reducing HIV transmission and acquisition for Young American Indian and Alaska Native Male-Bodied MSM

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:10 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Cynthia Pearson, PhD, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute National Center of Excellence, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Karina Walters, MSW, PhD, School of Social Work, Indigenous Wellness Research Institute - University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Background: Creative culturally-relevant intervention that engage members from hard to reach underserve communities are limited.

Methods: This presentation will provide a brief theoretical and empirical overview of the social, cultural and historical determinants of HIV/AIDS and STIs among American Indian and Alaska Native MSM, with a focus on young AIAN male bodied MSM. The Indigenist stress-coping model is used to frame male-bodied MSM HIV-related health inequities.

Results: Findings from a 6-site national study among 277 AIAN MSM are shared highlighting sexual risk behaviors, specifically sexual risk cognitions, concurrency, and sexual risk reduction strategies. Finally, grounded in an informational-behavioral motivation (IMB) model, we present the development of an innovative virtual world HIV-substance abuse risk prevention intervention (Vr2L 2Spirit) for AIAN MSM. Conclusions: Gamification is used to create experiential learning, skill building and role playing regarding condom use and negotiation, HIV testing, substance use risk and harm reduction strategies and PrEP.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify risk factors from HIV/AIDS surveillance data and critical HIV/AIDS studies data among Native men. Explain how trauma, substance use, and poor mental health increase HIV risk exposure and hasten mortality among Native men once they are living with HIV. Demonstrate indigenous ideologies and world views are incorporated into a virtual world platform to address HIV/STI prevention among Native men.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a PhD and years of experience conducting research in the realm of HIV.I have been an investigator of multiple federally-funded grants using a community engaged approach. Research studies have focused on the intervention designs and epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of interventions and strategies for preventing HIV and STDs working in full collaboration with tribal communities.
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.