Online Program

From Jail to Peer Counselor: HIV Educator Training Increases HIV Testing

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 11:10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Skye Ross, LMSW, MPH, Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Alison O. Jordan, LCSW, Correctional Health Services' Transitional Health Care Coordination, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, East Elmhurst, NY
Allison Dansby, MSW, CHS Transitional Health Care Coordination, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, NY
Randi Sinnreich, LMSW, Correctional Health Services, NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, East Elmhurst, NY
Issues: Incarcerated men face heightened risk for HIV infection, which is mediated by knowledge and behavior. This population is at greater risk for disease progression than is the general HIV patient population. HIV testing and counseling engages individuals in prevention and care. Description: This program evaluation was conducted to assess whether participation in a peer educator training program increases knowledge and testing behavior among people who are incarcerated. HIV Prevention Peer Educator Training with "Teachable Moments" combined the HIV Prevention and Counseling curriculum (HIV 101) with the HIV Prevention Train the Trainer curriculum developed by a large, urban, local health agency. Data from 3 training cycles were used, yielding a sample of 96 participants. Lessons learned: Peer educator trainees reported 11,756 teachable moments with peers detained in jail. Significantly more peer educator training participants consented to HIV testing compared to the system-wide average jail population (56.25% compared to 25.23% of the jail population; χ2= 48.164, df=1, p<.01). The increased rate of testing among program participants is evidence of increased HIV knowledge and awareness among a population at high risk of HIV. "Teachable moments" were shown to be an accessible tool in disseminating information peer-to-peer. Recommendations: While this evaluation demonstrated a preliminary link between learning and behavior among at-risk incarcerated men, future study with other populations is warranted. Further evaluation may focus on other benefits to peer educators, such as related employment in the community, and the impact of the impressive number of teachable moments.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify components of a successful HIV peer education training program in jails. Discuss the development of an evaluation for an HIV peer education training program. Assess the impacts of jail-based HIV peer education training on individuals and populations.

Keyword(s): Behavioral Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a student and first-time presenter. I expect to graduate with MSSW and MPH degrees from Columbia University in May, 2015. I have 3 years research experience assisting on federally funded studies on the neurocognitive impacts of HIV disease and on a federally funded HIV counseling intervention study. I have worked directly with the program being evaluated in this abstract. My professional interests are in the intersections between HIV, substance use, and incarceration.
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.

Back to: 4135.0: HIV and Incarceration