Online Program

Feasibility of recruiting peer health leaders for an HIV and gender-based violence prevention intervention with networks of young men in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Monday, November 2, 2015

Donaldson Conserve, PhD, University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Peter Balvanz, Health Behavior, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Lusajo Kajula-Maonga, MS, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Suzanne Maman, PhD, Department of Health Behavior, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Marta Mulawa, PhD, Duke Global Health Institute, Duke, Durham, NC
Thespina Yamanis, PhD, American University, Washington, D.D.
Noel Kilonzo, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Background: HIV risk behaviors and gender-based violence (GBV) are prevalent among men and influenced by their social networks. A peer leader-based intervention using behavior change communication can be an effective strategy to promote HIV and GBV prevention within male networks. We report on the feasibility of recruiting and training peers to become camp health leaders (CHLs) as part of a cluster randomized controlled trial designed to prevent HIV and GBV among men belonging to "camps", which are organized groups of young men with elected leadership, paid membership, and a physical space to meet in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Methods: Baseline data were collected from 1280 male camp members across 60 camps from January to March 2014. Members from the intervention camps nominated 185 CHLs within these camps in March 2014. CHLs attended an initial one-week training course and booster sessions on HIV and GBV prevention, substance abuse, and effective communication and social influence to initiate conversations with men in their networks.  We collect weekly data on CHL conversations and challenges encountered.  

Lessons Learned: CHLs reported challenges initiating conversations, not being taken seriously in their “new” role by their camp members, and not having official signs of credential. CHLs also mentioned lack of motivation to formally continue having conversations.  To address these challenges we conducted booster sessions to encourage active CHLs and motivate inactive CHLs by sharing strategies. We also printed t-shirts with HIV and GBV slogans for CHLs to wear as conversation starters. To keep CHLs motivated we made funds available for CHLs to apply to conduct specific health related activities such as substance abuse in their camps.  

Conclusion: Recruiting and training CHLs for HIV and GBV behavior change communication among men is feasible. However, regular monitoring and support for CHLs are required in order to ensure success overtime.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe monitoring data collected for the health leadership component of a randomized controlled trial. Explain methods of recruiting and training community health leaders to engage in behavior communication change with their peers.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am the project coordinator.
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.

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